Jim Bolger is making a habit of winning this Group 1 event and has returned to Coolcullen with the prize four times in the last six years. High-class colts Teofilo and New Approach were among his previous winners and the unbeaten DAWN APPROACH also looks right out of the top drawer. He was wearing Godolphin's colours for the first time when winning the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh last time by over four lengths and will be a short-price to follow that up here. Stablemate Leitir Mor was well beaten in the National Stakes but had earlier taken care of George Vancouver in a Group 3 race while the latter's stable companion, The Ferryman, has plenty to prove having only won a maiden at Tipperary so far though he did have the debutant Leitir Mor behind. Funk Soul Brother has lost his way but Ashdan is clearly well thought of dropped into the deep-end today after winning a conditions race at Doncaster.
Ashdan 4-5fav (9-2) Tracked leaders in 3rd, led over 1f out, riddeen and kept on well inside final furlong, won at Doncaster 7f 2yo stks (2) gd in Sep beating No Jet Lag (9-0) by 1 1/2l, 6 ran.
Dawn Approach (IRE) 2-5fav (9-3) Chased clear leader in 3rd, ridden 2f out and good headway to lead 1f out, wandered a bit but soon in command, kept on well, won at Curragh 7f 2yo Grp 1 (1) in Sep beating Designs On Rome (9-3) by 5l, 7 ran.
Funk Soul Brother 14-1 (9-1) Steadied start, held up in rear, never a factor, weakened 2f out, eased, last of 8, 14l behind Moohaajim (9-1) at Newbury 6f 2yo Grp 2 (1) gf in Sep.
George Vancouver (USA) 8-13fav (9-3) Tracked leaders, 7th halfway, 5th and effort 1 1/2f out, 4th and no impression final furlong, kept on same pace, 6th of 11, 4 1/2l behind Leitir Mor (9-3) at Curragh 6f 2yo Grp 3 (1) in Sep.
Leitir Mor (IRE) 12-1 (9-3) Chased clear leader in 2nd, ridden over 2f out and much closer in 3rd over 1f out, no extra inside final furlong, 3rd of 7, 9l behind Dawn Approach (9-3) at Curragh 7f 2yo Grp 1 (1) in Sep.
The Ferryman (IRE) 11-8 (9-5) Soon led and made virtually all, asserted over 1f out and in command when veered badly right inside final furlong, straightened up and kept on well, won at Tipperary 7f 2yo mdn sft in Jul beating Line Drummer (9-5) by 1 1/2l, 9 ran.