The match-up that this very week has been based around, arrives on Wednesday, and it looks set to be an absolute belter.
The superstar 2-y-o and subsequent 2000 Guineas and St. James’ Palace winner Dawn Approach lines up against the classy Toronado, and consistently strong Declaration of War.
Dawn Approach only has one blip on his CV, when nearly ripping Kevin Manning’s arms out of their socket in the opening three furlongs of the Derby, before going on to fade into the background of the Epsom cambers, losing his unbeaten record.
There were talks he would never be the same horse again, and he re-appeared against Toronado (who had since had an operation, following his Guineas fourth) and Magician (Irish 2000 Guineas winner), at Royal Ascot in June, answering his critics in a game style.
He failed to settle once more during the early part of the race, showing up very keen in-touch, but once he switched off, he travelled up like a dream and even after being given a bump when making headway, he still managed to show his turn of foot and true spirit, fending off Toronado by a short-head.
Toronado was given the ultimate hard luck story in the media, with questions raised as to whether he would have got the better of Jim Bolger’s colt, without the bumping at half-way. In my opinion, he wouldn’t.
He eyeballed Dawn Approach with half a furlong to go, and if he was the better horse, he would have gone past him and won.
No doubting Richard Hannon’s horse is incredible, just I think Dawn Approach is a slightly better animal.
Declaration of War is going to give a massive show, having ran two absolute crackers when landing the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot before finishing runner-up behind the horse of the year so far, Al Kazeem.
The stable think really highly of him, and the heaviness in which he was backed before his Lockinge flop gave us a taster of just how highly they rate him.
However, he does have to give weight away to the classy 3-y-o’s, and that should just swing it in their favour.
Overall, I have to feel, if Dawn Approach settles, he will win. It is a slight risk at the odds, but he is yet to give us that breathtaking performance he has always promised, and tomorrow looks set to be the day. Can he follow in the hoof-prints of Rip Van Winkle, Canford Cliffs and the mighty Frankel? I suggest taking the 6/5 that he can..
4 points win: Dawn Approach @ 6/5