herald

Friday 19 December 2014

New Approach can land spoils in the clash of the titans

When York were forced to cancel Tuesday's Juddmonte International meeting, the clash of the titans -- New Approach and Duke Of Marmalade -- looked extremely unlikely. The pair looked set to lock horns at Leopardstown on September 6 and that was to be the occasion which marked the return to action of Jim Bolger's Epsom Derby winner and the true test of Aidan O'Brien's unbeaten Group 1 performer of this year.

Now, as if it was a consolation for the recent poor weather, we are set to see the two heavyweights do battle tomorrow at Newmarket where the ground is good and therefore recovery time is sufficient to have them return for round two at Leopardstown on the first Saturday of next month. Concerns had been raised over the close proximity of the two races but both have been declared and after a week of practically no action we have a mouth-watering clash to look forward to.

O'Brien has his usual pacemaker in the line up and that should prove interesting as New Approach would be no stranger to doing his own work out in front and it will be fascinating to see if Kevin Manning takes a lead or sets the pace himself.

One concern over New Approach would be how keen he gets in his races but if he is back to full fitness we are set for a fascinating duel. New Approach can land the spoils in what is set to be a classic.

The Ladbrokes Great Voltigeur Stakes is another of the saved races from this week's York meeting and will be held at Goodwood. Here O'Brien can score with Alessandro Volta who was originally third and then disqualified and placed fourth in the Irish Derby.

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