Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Declaration disappoints in Lockinge

Farhh (left), ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, wins the JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury

The heavily backed Declaration Of War proved a major disappointment as Farhh made an impressive return to action in the JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

Aidan O'Brien's War Front colt was all the rage for the Group One contest and went off the 5-4 market leader under the trainer's son, Joseph.

But the writing was on the wall two furlongs out when Declaration Of War, who was held up towards the rear, failed to pick up and he ultimately came home fifth.

Twice second to Sir Henry Cecil's superstar in Group One events last season, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Farhh was gaining a deserved day in the spotlight and was always travelling powerfully in the hands of Silvestre de Sousa.

Asked to quicken over a furlong out as pacemaker Reply gave way, Farhh picked up impressively. Going further and further clear, De Sousa's mount was four lengths ahead of Sovereign Debt at the line, with Aljamaaheer in third.

De Sousa, riding his first Group One winner in Britain, said: "He definitely deserved to get his head in front. He did it in great fashion and travelled so sweetly. He got a bit lonely and I had to give him a slap behind the saddle, but he won very handily and will come on for the run."

Simon Crisford, racing manager to the Godolphin operation, said: "He won really well, it did surprise me as he has been a very difficult horse to train and Saeed has had to tip-toe very quietly with him. He's really done that very impressively."

On future plans for Farhh, Crisford said: "We were slightly concerned about the (mile) trip today but he did it so well that maybe we will go to the Queen Anne. We'll see, we'll weigh up both races (Queen Anne and Prince of Wales's Stakes), keep options open and see what Sheikh Mohammed wants to do.

"He deserved it, he kept on finishing second to the best horse of all time last year, so to see him win a Group One was fantastic."

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