Bolger waits on Dawn call
Jim Bolger insists no formal decision has yet been made over where Dawn Approach is trained next season.
- Related Content
The imminent issue playing on the mind of the great Irishman is to win a fifth Dubai Dewhurst Stakes in seven years at Newmarket on October 13 and he will have two shots at glory.
The unbeaten Dawn Approach will again carry the Godolphin colours, with Sheikh Mohammed having purchased more than half of him after his fourth victory in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, while he will be joined by the battle-hardened Leitir Mor.
The pair completed a pretty vigorous workout over around seven furlongs on Tuesday morning, not at Bolger's main Coolcullen base but at another piece of his vast empire near Rathvilly, a 35-minute drive north-east through County Carlow.
Since 2008, the 71-year-old has turned Beechy Park, a 244-acre former dairy farm which was once the home of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli's uncle, into a quite remarkable centre for his yearlings.
But he has also created an 'away day' gallop for horses in training, a feat of landscaping and turf husbandry which seems to feature not a single weed and even has different strips of grass from Newmarket and Leopardstown.
Bolger's son-in-law Kevin Manning pushed Dawn Approach around a length in front of Leitir Mor and professed himself "very happy" with the chestnut.
Regarding his colt's future, which could potentially involve a switch to one of Godolphin's employed trainers, Bolger said: "That hasn't been discussed yet.
"I don't know what's happening, it'll be the end of the year. Sheikh Mohammed bought a majority interest in the horse and as everyone should realise, the decision lies with the owner.
"He has 51%, we have 49%, so he has the majority."
In a neat piece of symmetry, Dawn Approach's sire was New Approach, who also won the National Stakes and Dewhurst before landing the following year's Derby.
New Approach was trained by Bolger and was sold to Sheikh Mohammed's wife Princess Haya for his three-year-old season.
"He has a different look to the sire - this one is more mature. Not stronger - the other fellow was very strong, lean and mean," said Bolger.
"This fellow is more rounded and has a better temperament - but at this stage we wouldn't change anything about New Approach."
He went on: "He's up there with the best. He's a great looker and he would get a little more than a mile, but I don't see any need to (do that)."
After casting his eye over the workout, he was able to elaborate on plans for the horses.
"We used to take horses for a racecourse gallop somewhere, but now we can just take them up the road instead," he said.
"I wouldn't be running three (in the Dewhurst).
"Dawn Approach and Leitir Mor will run, and Trading Leather will go for the Group Three (Autumn Stakes) on the same day.
"I've never had a Group Three winner as a work horse but Leitir Mor has run 11 times now.
"I've had lots of offers for him but he's too good to sell. He will bring any horse to the furlong marker and he'll keep the pace honest and will be there to get as much money as he can."
Unknown quantity Trading Leather, who was not presented on a media visit to the stable, is another to run in Bolger's colours.
The son of another Dewhurst winner, Teofilo, he was second to Battle Of Marengo in a Listed race at Leopardstown on his debut before bolting up in a maiden at Gowran Park. Battle Of Marengo went on to take last weekend's Beresford Stakes.
"He's my Derby horse, I hope," said Bolger ominously.
There was also news on Parish Hall, who has not been seen since landing yet another Dewhurst for the team 12 months ago.
He said: "Parish Hall is almost 100% now and we're hoping to have him for the Dubai World Cup."