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England v Ireland Guineas showdown looms


5/1/13 - Saturday’s Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket has all the makings of a top-class race and a classic encounter in the racing betting odds between two very smart unbeaten colts, Dawn Approach and Toronado.


Dawn Approach, trained in Ireland by Jim Bolger, ended last season as the leading European juvenile having won all six of his races, including successes at Royal Ascot in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes, at the Curragh in the seven furlong Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien Stakes, and in the Group 1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket last October, where he readily accounted for stable companion Leitir Mor by nearly three lengths.


All through the winter the son of New Approach – the 2008 Epsom Derby winner also trained by Bolger - has been a warm favourite for the first colts’ classic of the 2013 campaign and is now generally on offer at just 11/8 with the likes of bet365.


Toronado represents champion British trainer Richard Hannon who has made another superb start to the season sending out a host of winners. Officially rated just 3lbs inferior to Dawn Approach, the son of leading Australian sire and former Ballydoyle star performer High Chaparral won all three of his races last term, culminating with a battling success at Doncaster in September when outpointing Roger Charlton’s Dundonnell by half-a-length in the Group 2 One Call Insurance Champagne Stakes.


The same pair met again at Newmarket on April 17 but this time Toronado looked in a different league to his old rival, making all the running and powering away inside the final two furlongs to score with four lengths in hand of stable companion Havana Gold; Dundonnell was a further half-length away in third.


The Hannon team think the Richard Hughes-ridden Toronado (5/2) is a potentially top-class performer and the clash between him and Dawn Approach looks likely to well and truly set the British Flat campaign alight.

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