Bolger in bullish mood about 'awesome' Dawn Approach
RACING:Jim Bolger was in bullish mood about Dawn Approach as the unbeaten colt featured among 72 entries for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 4th.
Last season’s European champion two-year-old, who now runs in the colours of the Godolphin operation, claimed six straight victories in his juvenile season, rounding off with Group One glory in the National Stakes and Dewhurst.
Asked how the son of his Derby winner New Approach has progressed during the winter, the Co Carlow trainer said: “I’ve been asked that question regularly over the last three weeks and I’ve now simplified the answer to one word – awesome.”
Also featuring in six possibles for Bolger are Dewhurst runner-up Leitir Mor and Autumn Stakes winner Trading Leather. Aidan O’Brien’s powerful team includes Racing Post Trophy victor Kingsbarns, the unbeaten Mars and George Vancouver, third in the Dewhurst and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Trainer Noel Meade has confirmed it is “almost certain” Monksland will miss next week’s Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival after suffering a setback.
Meade said: “He had a setback (on Tuesday) and although we don’t think it’s anything too serious, looking at him I’d say it’s almost certain he is not going to make Cheltenham.”
Hurricane Fly will face a maximum of nine rivals when he aims to regain his crown in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.
The three main hopes for the home team are last year’s winner Rock On Ruby, now trained by Harry Fry, Paul Nicholls’ improving Zarkandar and the Nicky Henderson-trained Grandouet.
Cheltenham officials are preparing to take precautions against a forecast cold spell ahead of the start of the festival.
With frost predicted for the first half of next week, the team at Prestbury Park are getting ready to put down frost covers on all vulnerable areas, including the take-offs and landings.