Trained by: Jim Bolger
Owner: Princess Haya Of Jordan
Jockeys: Kevin Manning
Dam: Park Express
Did you know: When Teofilo swept all before him to become the champion juvenile of Europe for Jim Bolger in 2007, one could have forgiven the veteran Coolcullen trainer for thinking he would never have a horse to equal him in the rest of his training career. However, as truly remarkable as it was, he managed to find one that equalled the achievements of Teofilo the very next year and went on to become one of the top horses of recent times as a three-year-old. That horses name was New Approach.
New Approach was the product of a mating between the mighty Galileo and the top-class racemare Park Express. The latter, who had won the Irish Champion Stakes in her heyday, was 22 when giving birth to New Approach and had gone completely blind, requiring her to be given plenty of special attention from her breeder. However, New Approach was not affected by such an unorthodox situation and having been sent to Goffs to sell at the Million Sale as a yearling, he realised €430,000, with the purchaser Jim Bolger opting to sell back a half-share to the colt's breeder, Seamus Burns.
Remarkably, New Approach came to hand at a similar time to what Teofilo had in his juvenile days and he made his debut in the same 7f maiden on Oaks day at the Curragh that Teofilo had won the previous year. Not to be outdone, New Approach duly obliged by winning in likeable fashion under the jockey that would ride him on all of his career starts, Kevin Manning. From there, he followed the exact same path as Teofilo had the year before, winning the Group 3 Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown and the Group 2 Futurity Stakes at the Curragh in impressive fashion before being aimed at the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh. In what was a top-class renewal of the race, New Approach made all the running and readily beat off the challenges of Rio De La Plata and Myboycharlie by 1¾ lengths. Although Bolger expressed his opinion that his stable star had done enough for the year in the immediate aftermath of the race, with the emergence of a handful of other candidates for the title of the champion juvenile of Europe, Bolger decided to send New Approach over to the Dewhurst Stakes in Newmarket in an effort to hammer home his claim to that title and in the process, complete his 100% emulation of what Teofilo had achieved the year before. With another top-class field to contend with, New Approach did not disappoint, though his supporters did have plenty of anxious moments. Bolger, in an effort to get his charge to relax with a view to racing over middle distances in 2008, had been training his charge to settle better and it almost backfired at Newmarket. He was slowly away and was ridden along before halfway, but he battled on strongly to lead inside the final 1f and hold off the challenge of Fast Company by ½-length.
With Teofilo having failed to make the racecourse as a three-year-old, there was a general air of caution surrounding New Approach during the winter months, but Bolger had him fighting fit for his first target of his three-year-old season, the English 2000 Guineas. Sent off as the 11/8 favourite and running in the colours of Princess Haya Of Jordan for the first time, he made a brave bid to make all the running, but was mugged inside the final 1f by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Henrythenavigator, battling back close home and failing by just a nose to get back up. That set the scene for the rematch between the pair in the Irish 2000 Guineas, but with the going riding firmer than ideal for New Approach, he never really looked like reversing the form, finishing a comfortably held 1¾ lengths second to his Newmarket conqueror. The next chapter in New Approach's career was a somewhat controversial one, with Jim Bolger initially stating that his stable star would not run in the Epsom Derby as many anticipated he would, only to dramatically flip-flop in the week before the race and send New Approach to Epsom. Sent off at 5/1, after just 4f many people would have written off the chances of New Approach, as he had pulled fiercely hard in the rear and wasted an untold amount of energy. However, Manning weaved his way through the field after turning into the straight, making relentless headway between horses to lead over 1f out and hold off the challenge of the Tartan Bearer by ½-length. While there was some bitterness amongst the press and punters alike regarding the circumstances leading to the horse lining up on the day, no one could deny that New Approach fully deserved a win in a classic and having overcome so much adversity to do so, he stamped himself as one of the best three-year-olds of recent years.
The next port of call for New Approach was expected to be the Irish Derby, but he was dramatically ruled out of the race at a late stage due to a minor setback. Having been given a break of 10 weeks or so, New Approach returned to action in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York, with his trainer warning the public that his Derby winner may show signs of ring rustiness after his break. That was just how it panned out, with New Approach racing too freshly in the early stages and making somewhat laboured late headway to finish third to Duke Of Marmalade. In the aftermath of the race, Bolger predicted that New Approach would be a different horse in the Irish Champion Stakes with that York run under his belt and he was duly proved correct. A fortnight later, with Duke Of Marmalade pulled out of the race at a late stage, New Approach looked to have a straightforward task in the Irish Champion Stakes and he duly obliged, though in markedly workmanlike fashion, only getting the better of the unconsidered Traffic Guard by ½-length.
With a number of options remaining for him, it was decided that New Approach would have what would prove to be the final start of his career in the English Champion Stakes in mid-October. Sent off the strongly supported 6/5 favourite, New Approach produced what was without doubt the most visually impressive performance of his career, powering away from his rivals in the final 2f to run out the dominant six lengths winner.
While New Approach did show some very minor quirks through his career, he proved to be an immensely tough and consistent performer, with five Group 1 wins being a tremendous haul to gain from just 11 career starts. He will stand at Darley Stud in Newmarket and with substantial patronage from the Europe's top breeders almost assured, he looks to have an exciting future as a stallion ahead of him.