Dawn Passage aims to emulate his sire’s success in Golden Rose (Lisa Grimm)


The $1 million Group One Golden Rose Stakes – over 1400m at Rosehill Gardens on 28 September – has rapidly gained eminence as the go-to for tomorrow’s stallions.

The last seven winners of the Golden Rose, including Australia’s Champion First and Second Season Sire, Zoustar, have since moved on to life in the breeding shed and connections of Saturday’s Listed Canterbury Hurlstone Park Club Rosebud Stakes winner, Dawn Passage, will be hoping for a similar career trajectory.

It was just the third start for the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott trained colt, who won comfortably on debut on Australia day before a third, in February, in the $2 million Millennium at Warwick Farm.

And didn’t he look impressive on Saturday, storming home from near last in the 1100m Rosebud to get up in a thriller.

Watching keenly was Blue Sky Bloodstock’s Julian Blaxland who purchased – along with Waterhouse & Bott – the Dawn Approach colt for $150,000 at the 2018 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

“He’s a very nice colt and really caught our eye at the sale,” Blaxland explains. “I’ve got enormous respect for Mill Park Stud, which was offering Dawn Passage, and he was a nice, neat colt – well quartered – with the temperament of a 5YO gelding.

“We purchased a lot of nice yearlings in 2018, which include (2YO stakes winners) Unite and Conquer and Bellevue Hill, and I reckon this bloke (Dawn Passage) is a serious horse who will be suited by the 1200m to 1400m. Actually, I thought he was a bit unlucky in the Millennium and he could easily be undefeated.

“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he ended up also racing in the (Group One) Coolmore … he’s a genuine stallion prospect.”

After deservedly riding on the success of superstar filly, Sunlight (10 wins, 3 Group Ones & $4.4 million in stakes) who Blaxland co-purchased for $300,000 from the 2017 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale, the agent is pretty pleased that good friends and clients Dave and Susan Healey and Darren and Noelle Halpin are in the ownership of Dawn Passage.

“Dave and Susan have had a lot of good runners with Gai including (Golden Slipper winner and sire) Vancouver, while Darren is my accountant and part-owner of Houtzen (a multiple stakes winner and recent Group Two runnerup in England),” Blaxland points out. “I reckon they’re going to have a lot of fun with this horse.”

Dawn Passage is the seventh stakes winner for New Approach’s Group One Two Thousand Guineas winner, Dawn Approach, who stood for five seasons at Darley, but is not returning in 2019.

Bred by Toorak Thoroughbreds, Dawn Passage is a half brother to six winners including Adelaide Group winner Dinkum Diamond, the dam of Sydney Group winner (and Golden Rose placed!) Graff.

Their dam, the Devaraja mare Raja Lane, won seven races, including two stakes races in Adelaide.

Dawn Passage, meanwhile, has been the ideal launching pad for season 2019/20 for one of South Australia’s most successful farms in Mill Park, which had also sold 2019 Group One Oakleigh Plate winner, Booker (for $230,000 at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier) and had some memorable moments at Easter ’19, selling the most expensive Brazen Beau colt for $1,150,000, along with a Written Tycoon colt for $900,000.