Sheikh Mohammed, Godolphin Rehab Starts With Victory In 2000 Guineas Event
The rehabilitation of Godolphin has a purpose-built vehicle in DAWN APPROACH, according to Alan Lee of the LONDON TIMES. The colt won his first classic on Saturday "in a style indicating much more to come." Dawn Approach "is trained in Ireland, far from the stigmatised stables of Newmarket, by the most loquacious advocate SHEIKH MOHAMMED could wish for." JIM BOLGER will now prepare Dawn Approach for the Investec Derby. Racing, as an industry, "breathed collective relief when the Sheikh appeared at Newmarket." Those close to the Sheikh "feared he might stay away from Guineas weekend, so his attendance can be construed as determination not to be cowed by association with the doping offences of Mahmood Al Zarooni, a trainer he appointed and nurtured." Even in victory, "and briefly free of his elevated security, Sheikh Mohammed resisted the opportunity to speak of his situation, or even declare an end to the uncomfortable anomaly of steroid use in Dubai, the country he rules." Mohammed: "I always face a challenge" (LONDON TIMES, 5/6). In London, Chris McGrath reported the Sheikh's "mere presence on the Rowley Mile -- never mind the metaphor he obligingly provided before the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, when hiding in the saddling boxes from a sudden, wild squall -- served as a statement in itself." It turned out to be "the only one he was prepared to make" (INDEPENDENT, 5/6).