/ Racing

Jim Bolger aiming to continue Dewhurst dominance

Updated: Friday, 12 Oct 2012 16:11 | Comments

Jim Bolger claimed last year's Dewhurst with 20-1 shot Parish Hall
Jim Bolger claimed last year's Dewhurst with 20-1 shot Parish Hall

Jim Bolger is a very short price to clinch his fifth Dubai Dewhurst Stakes in seven years at Newmarket as his smart colt Dawn Approach puts his unbeaten record on the line.

Two of those winners have become champion two-year-old - Teofilo and Dawn Approach's sire New Approach - and that accolade could be heading back to Coolcullen again with another good performance.

Bolger also saddles the experienced Leitir Mor, who acted as a lead horse for Dawn Approach in a serious piece of work last week and is not expected to trouble the Godolphin-owned odds-on favourite.

The chestnut had a busy early season campaign, with his fourth start being in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, and he returned from a break to land his first Group One in the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.

"Jim has been very happy with the horse and obviously he's going to be a big runner for us this weekend," said Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford.

"The only thing we wouldn't want is the ground to be too heavy, so hopefully it's not going to keep raining in Newmarket."

Bolger said: "I'm sure he has improved since the Curragh. I was a little concerned about the going (there) - it was on the soft side - and he hadn't run since June. I wasn't certain I had him at his peak.

"As it happened, he seemed to do it very easily. He came out of the race very well and was very fresh two days later.

"I think he only dropped a couple of kilos and he had it back on within three days.

"He is able to quicken up when the need arises in his races and loves his racing.

"I've been very fortunate in having four horses that could win the Dewhurst - hopefully this fellow will be the fifth."

John Gosden is trying to fend off Aidan O'Brien and land his first championship and both trainers are after the prize money here.

Gosden fields the Khalid Abdullah-owned Ashdan, who is taking a step up in class from two minor victories at Newmarket and Doncaster.

"He won a conditions race at Doncaster last time and he's a nice horse," said jockey William Buick.

"Obviously Dawn Approach will be very hard to beat, but I'm happy with him and I think he's a nice horse.

"He'll be better next year, but he's a nice horse and he goes there with a good chance."

O'Brien has a pair of chances, with his son Joseph taking the mount on George Vancouver ahead of the lightly-raced The Ferryman (Ryan Moore).

George Vancouver was a most encouraging second to Reckless Abandon in the Prix Morny but failed to build on that performance when only sixth to Leitir Mor in the Group Three Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh.

"George Vancouver ran a bit keen the last day in quite soft ground. They went very slow on the day and it didn't suit him," said Joseph O'Brien.

"He ran well in France the time before so hopefully he can put that last run behind him and run a nice race on Saturday.

"The Ferryman won his maiden nicely in Tipperary. It's a big step up from a maiden to a Group One, but he's a nice horse and hopefully he'll run a good race.

"Dawn Approach is obviously very high-class, so it will be an interesting race."

Charlie Hills provides the final runner, Funk Soul Brother, and hopes he might outperform his likely outsider status.

A winner on debut at York, the Phil Cunningham-owned colt finished at the back of the field at Royal Ascot and in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.

Hills said: "He'll be a big price but he has had excuses with sore shins and what have you.

"I was disappointed with his last run at Newbury but I think you can put a line through that.

"It's a six-runner race and I think he deserves to take his chance."

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