- Horse racing
Dawn Approach claims first classic of year for Godolphin
Dawn Approach turned in a superb performance to emerge victorious in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.
Owned by Godolphin and ridden by Kevin Manning, victory came by a comfortable margin as the main rivals faded.
It served as a timely boost for Godolphin, following the recent admission by trainer Mohammed Al Zarooni that anabolic steroids had been administered to 15 horses in his care outside of competition schedule.
Al Zarooni has subsequently been banned for eight years, and it is Sheikh Mohammed's job to rebuild the good name of Godolphin. Dawn Approach's exceptional display was a good start.
Vying with fellow market fancy Toronado, the 11/8 favourite moved through the gears over the final quarter of a mile to win by five lengths. Glory Awaits claimed second with Van Der Neer third.
Victory extends Dawn Approach's unbeaten record to seven, and he is now valued at 2/1 for the Investec Derby at Epsom.
Trainer Jim Bolger said: "He was very impressive, we're very happy with him and he galloped right to the line. I don't know about the Derby, Sheikh Mohammed and myself said we would sleep on it and take it from there.
"If he wants to go, I'd be very happy to. We have to see how he comes out of this but he's hardy and I'm sure he'll be fine. I'm sure he can only improve from here as that's his first time on a racecourse this year."
Mohammed was asked if he had considered skipping Newmarket after recent events, to which he replied: "I always face a challenge."