Ryan Moore: Dawn Approach is a deserved 2,000 Guineas favourite

Dawn Approach wins the Dewhurst and he can repeat the feat at Newmarket next weekend

Ryan has seen most of the 2,000 Guineas contenders up close and, for him, ante-post favourite Dawn Approach is a fully justified market leader. Here's why...

"Dawn Approach should be well suited by the step up to 1m, we knows he handles Newmarket, and he looks a very solid favourite to me."

Having seen or ridden in all of the trials, both this year and last, then I have to say that Dawn Approach is still the horse to beat in the 2,000 Guineas next weekend.

His Group 1 wins in the National Stakes and the Dewhurst still set the standard in this race. And in Jim Bolger he has a trainer that has been there and done it, so I would have no issues whatsoever that he will get the horse to Newmarket in A1 shape.

Yes, he was not over-impressive in the Dewhurst but it was the end of a long season for him and horses that tend to hit a flat spot in their races often got a bad press. What matters is where they are at the line, and his winning record tells you all you need to know on that front.

He should be well suited by the step up to 1m, we knows he handles Newmarket, and he looks a very solid favourite to me.

Toronado emerged as a real threat to him in the Craven. Hughesie has been banging on about him for months - I haven't heard him so enthused about a horse for a while - and he showed why when very impressive in the Craven. And the more I watch that race, the more taken I am by him.

Yes, you can say that he has only beaten a possible sprinter in Dundonnell, after getting his own way in small fields. But the horse can only do what is asked of him, and I suspect that he is a very adaptable and straightforward horse, which is a big plus in a Guineas. And what I like about him, is how he moves over the ground. 

The only negative I can throw at him, other than he is unproven in a big field, is that I thought he looked very fit for the Craven. So perhaps there is not a lot of improvement to come next weekend. But I suppose there may not have to be, if Dawn Approach is not in peak form.

Aidan could well have three or four runners in here, and if Mars goes there as his number one hope - ahead of George Vancouver and Cristoforo Colombo - then sit up and take notice.

He looked good in winning his only sole start, but that only came in a Dundalk maiden last July, form that is light years away from Dawn Approach's. 

Anyway, Aidan will know where his horses stand on their homework, and if he rates this as his number one chance ahead of proven Group 1 performers, then treat him with the respect that perhaps the form book doesn't tell you to.

However, I see George Vancouver is available at over 20-1 on Betfair. It may be best to wait until Aidan confirms the running plans for his horses next week, but that would look a big price to me if he does take his chance.

I think he found the ground a little bit too soft for him when third in the Dewhurst, and the quicker the ground the better for him. He travels and has a lot of pace, as he showed when winning at the Breeders' Cup in Santa Anita for me, and he is a horse I rate as a Guineas type.

Given fast ground and a good trip, I can see him hitting the board. And perhaps even better, you never know.

I rode Cristoforo Colombo to finish fourth in the Middle Park, But I think he is better than that.

He didn't really stretch for me that day, and I just suspect that he was still remembering the fact that he slipped up in his previous start in the Phoenix Stakes. He was only beaten a length by Dawn Approach in the Coventry and that shows you how good he is, but the trip is a question mark for him.

Van Der Neer and Garswood are two others that you can throw into the mix. The first-named wasn't impressive when winning at Lingfield but he looked a bit heavy that day - I rode in the race - and he looked a bit rusty in the race itself before getting on top late.

That form is a long way short of what will be required and it could be though that he wants further than a mile, which is surprising for a son of Dutch Art.

I rode Lucky Beggar to finish third to Garswood in the Free Handicap, and I can tell you that wasn't much of a race. Well, not in Guineas terms anyway.

But Garswood was lolloping along happily like a chaser for all of that race - and very few horses do that at Newmarket - and won very easily. So you really don't know how good he is. But he will find the Guineas a different race in terms of speed and tempo.

A lot of people are knocking the form of the Greenham on Saturday, but I think that could be a bit premature. To be honest, the runner-up Sir Patrick Moore gave me a real good feel in the race - better than I was expecting in truth - and I wouldn't be in a rush to write off Olympic Glory, who goes to France anyway, and Moohaajim just yet.

But, for me, Dawn Approach remains the one to beat. 

Oh, and by the way, as soon as I know about my riding plans on Guineas weekend you will.


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