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Air Force has lift-off on debut

Aidan O'Brien's juvenile Air Force Blue made a flying start to his career with a successful debut in the Big Bad Bob EBF Maiden at the Curragh.

The son of War Front was second-best in the market at 4-1, with the Jim Bolger-trained Tribal Beat a short-priced 5-4 favourite with the benefit of prior experience.

However, the latter proved disappointing as Air Force Blue raced prominently and quickened clear going to the furlong marker in the hands of Ryan Moore.

Although he needed the line at the finish, he passed it a neck up on f ellow newcomer Rockaway Valley, who ran an excellent race, as did Tonkinese in third.

O'Brien said: "I thought he'd be a bit green like the filly yesterday (Ballydoyle). Ryan said he winged the gates and was there in front. He just got tired in the last 50 yards, which is understandable."

RaceBets introduced Air Force Blue into the betting for the Coventry Stakes at 16-1 and a sked about a potential trip to Royal Ascot, the trainer said: "He probably didn't learn a lot there and has only had one run. We'll have to see how he comes along."

Moore went on to a treble, scoring on Master Speaker in the six-furlong handicap before concluding the day with success on another Ballydoyle inmate, Bantry Bay, in the Dublin Coaches To The Curragh Races EBF Maiden.

The three-year-old (4-5 favourite) held second spot for most of the way before leading a furlong and a half out, from where he cleared away and passed the post with three and a quarter lengths to spare.

O'Brien said: "He was very green the first day (when second) and was still green there. He'll stay further and is a massive big horse. He could be a lovely four-year-old."

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