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Dawn Approach gets green light for Royal Ascot after Thursday gallop

Trainer Jim Bolger has confirmed that Dawn Approach will definitely take his chance in the St James’s Palace Stakes (3.45) on the opening day of the Royal meeting after a satisfactory piece of work on Thursday. Jockey Kevin Manning reported that he felt exactly as he did prior to the 2000 Guineas and is optimistic that his Derby run was just an aberration.

Magician had already been replaced as favourite by the Godolphin colt prior to news of a minor injury to the O’Brien horse. A final decision is expected on Sunday with Mars on standby to run in place of Magician.

Dawn Approach is bidding to bounce back from finishing last in the Epsom classic. He will have his usual pacemaker Leitir Mor who showed his well being with victory at Leopardstown on Thursday night.

The meeting opens with the much-heralded appearance of Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom in the Queen Anne Stakes (2.30). The American raider has impressed work watchers in his preparation but he will find a straight mile on turf a very different proposition to anything he has previously faced.

Punters seem convinced that Animal Kingdom will outclass his rivals and he is already trading at odds-on. The second race on the card is the five-furlong King’s Stand Stakes (3.05) with South African sprinter Shea Shea also a warm order.

His two victories in Dubai give him an outstanding chance with 9-4 now the best price available. The first four home in Haydock’s Temple Stakes are set to take on the favourite with Reckless Abandon the best supported of the home team.

Stubbs looks likely to go off favourite in the Coventry Stakes (4.25) for Aidan O’Brien but there also appears to be confidence behind Richard Hannon’s Newbury winner Championship.

If the favourites have done well in the early races, bookmakers can look for some relief in the Ascot Stakes (5.00) with a maximum field turning out for the two-and-a-half mile handicap. Tiger Cliff is likely to be among the market leaders as Lady Cecil attempts to send out what would probably be the most popular winner at the meeting.

O’Brien and Hannon could clash again in the closing Windsor Castle Stakes (5.35) with Fountain Of Youth and Anticipated among their declared runners at the five-day stage.