Newmarket: Dawn Approach wins 2000 Guineas

Dawn Approach

Unbeaten favourite Dawn Approach won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket to extend his winning run to seven races.

The 11-8 shot was watched by co-owner Sheikh Mohammed, his first visit to a racecourse in Britain since the Mahmood Al Zarooni drugs scandal broke.

Kevin Manning triumphed aboard the colt, trained by Jim Bolger in Ireland, ahead of second-placed Glory Awaits (150-1), ridden by Jamie Spencer.

William Buick rode Van Der Neer (20-1) to third, with Toronado (5-2) fourth.

The triumph in the first Classic of the Flat season gives Irish trainer Bolger his first victory in the race.

Head of Godolphin, one of the world's leading racing operations, and the monarch of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed, said: "I'm very happy to come here and see a good horse winning the Guineas."

He was asked whether he had considered bypassing a trip to Newmarket in light of former Godolphin trainer Al Zarooni's eight-year ban for administering anabolic steroids to 15 horses in his care.

"I always face a challenge," he told Channel Four.

When asked about the British Horseracing Authority investigation into the scandal, Sheikh Mohammed replied: "That's up to them."

Dawn Approach, who started from stall six, was unbeaten in six races in 2012, finishing the year with victory in the Dewhurst Stakes.

It was Glory Awaits and Leitor Mor who made the early pace though, with pre-race favourites Dawn Approach and Toronado sitting in third and fourth.

The duo pushed on just past the halfway mark but, with the previously unbeaten Toronado unable to maintain the pace, Dawn Approach cruised to victory.

Manning said: "He's a very special horse. He's done it very easy and travelled very well throughout the race.

"I didn't want to get there too soon and when I asked him to quicken, he just picked up."

Of the colt's ability to stay the mile-and-a-half trip in the Epsom Derby on 1 June, he said: "He was cruising here and he's very easy to switch off in a race. If he's going to get the trip, he's got the temperament for it."

Trainer Bolger said a decision had yet to be made about whether the horse would race in the Derby.

He 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."

The win came 12 days after news emerged of positive tests for banned substances at the Moulton Paddocks stable in Newmarket, where Al Zarooni trained.

Sheikh Mohammed ordered the yard to be placed in 'lockdown', with none of the 210 racehorses stabled there allowed to run until an internal inquiry is completed.

Al Zarooni admitted doping at a BHA inquiry nine days ago where he said the steroids were smuggled into the UK from Dubai in his luggage.

The BHA is continuing its inquiry into Godolphin and on Thursday a testing team visited Saeed bin Suroor's Newmarket stable, although there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing at his yard.

Meanwhile, a second separate inquiry into another Newmarket trainer, Gerard Butler, continues.

Nine horses trained by Butler, who has about 30 horses, tested positive for anabolic steroids after a BHA visit in February although the Irish-born trainer said he used a product recommended by vets and that his medication records were rubber-stamped by the authority.

He said he believes the same product, called Sungate, was given to more than 100 horses in Newmarket, although it is thought this would have left the system of any animals now.

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