Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

O'Brien has one to go to War with

Declaration Of War stretches clear for an impressive victory
Declaration Of War stretches clear for an impressive victory

Declaration Of War could be set for a big season after making a winning return to action with a stylish display in the Heritage Stakes at Leopardstown.

Sent off at 6-4 for his first appearance since winning the Group Three Diamond Stakes at Dundalk in early October, the Aidan O'Brien-trained four-year-old moved sweetly on the heels of his pacemaker Windsor Palace for much of the one-mile contest.

He took over the running still going strongly for Joseph O'Brien halfway up the straight and found plenty in the final furlong to beat the admirable Bold Thady Quill by two and a half lengths.

Tommy Carmody's Irish Lincolnshire winner Sweet Lightning was favourite, but could not raise a challenge and passed the post a disappointing fourth.

The winning trainer said: "We're going to go for the Lockinge at Newbury and that was the plan coming here.

"He wants fast ground and it's a bit of a surprise that he went on that. He is so strong though - a big, powerful horse, and I'd imagine he'll come on from that run."

O'Brien, who also won with Battle Of Marengo in the Ballysax, completed a treble when 5-2 favourite Justification led a furlong out and strode clear in the Leopardstown Club Members Handicap, beating the rallying front-runner Whatuthink by three-quarters of a length. Joseph O'Brien was on board all three.

The trainer said: "He was leading St Nicholas Abbey at home last year, so he'd a tough job! He was nicely in today and he had to stay, as the second horse was coming back at him. He'll go for another handicap next."

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