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War puts in Commanding Curragh Performance

The Aidan O’Brien-trained War Command bounced back to something close to his best to win the Group 2 Galileo European Breeders’ Fund Futurity Stakes in impressive fashion at the Curragh on August 24, and put himself in line for a return to Group 1 company next time out in the National Stakes..

The son of War Front had looked a world-beater when winning a Leopardstown maiden on his debut in June before stepping up to Group 2 company for the Coventry Stakes just 11 days later. At Royal Ascot, he put up a simply stunning performance under Joseph O’Brien to slam a good field by six lengths to stamp himself a potential top class juvenile.

Sent off a very warm order to follow-up in the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on August 11, it all went wrong as the colt met his first career defeat running a rather flat race in finishing just third behind Sudirman, prompting the horse racing at betfair to question whether his Royal Ascot success had been a flash in the pan.

Aidan O’Brien hinted that War Command might just have been in need of the run last time out and blamed himself for the loss, but there was no mistaking him being spot on for the Futurity Stakes. Even though he appeared to possibly hit a flat spot just over two furlongs from home, the Ballydoyle youngster was soon back in top gear and stayed on strongly after leading over a furlong out to score by a comfortable three lengths from Dermot Weld’s Galway winner Mustajeeb.

Both punters and betting firms were sufficiently impressed to take a closer look at War Command for next year’s Qipco 2000 Guineas and he was subsequently cut from 16/1 to a best offer of 12/1 to win the first colt’ classic next season.
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