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Big Showdown on Cards Between Leading Irish Juveniles

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Mars and Jim Bolger’s Dawn Approach look set to lock horns at the Curragh on August 26, in what could prove a highly informative renewal of the Group 2 Galileo EBF Futurity Stakes over seven furlongs, writes Elliot Slater.

Dawn Approach
© Caroline Norris

Dawn Approach

Mars is one of an astounding 29 entries in the contest from Ballydoyle, and is already considered potentially the leading juvenile colt in the tremendously powerful O’Brien yard, but in Dawn Approach he will face a very stiff test.

The unbeaten son of New Approach has won all four career starts in fine style, a record that has seen him elevated to 10/1 ante-post favourite for next year’s 2000 Guineas, in a market for which Mars is currently offered at a top price of 16/1 second-favourite on Betfair.

Dawn Approach completed his four-timer in great fashion when proving too strong for a big field in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, keeping on powerfully inside the distance to defeat the subsequent dual Group 2 winner, Olympic Glory, by three-quarters-of-a-length.

For his part, Mars, a half-brother to last term’s very smart two-year-old filly, Nayarra, gained plenty of admirers when justifying a lofty home reputation by making a winning racecourse bow on the Polytrack at Dundalk last month. He slammed his stable companion, The Ferryman (winner since at Tipperary), by nearly five lengths in the manner of a horse with a very big future.

The outcome of the potential dual between the two leading Irish colts could well have a significant impact on the ante-post market for not only next year’s first colts’ classic but also the Investec Derby, for which Mars, with his middle-distance pedigree, is the 10/1 current favourite ahead of Dawn Approach, who trades at up to 20/1 in places.

Also on the race calendar, the Betfair York Ebor 2012 Festival website has all the information a fan needs to gamble successfully on the main event, this August.

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