Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

War set to storm Palace

War Command winning at last year's Royal meeting

Dewhurst winner War Command spearheads a Ballydoyle trio in Tuesday's St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The son of War Front landed the Coventry Stakes at the meeting 12 months ago, but was only ninth in the 2000 Guineas on his sole appearance this season.

Michaelmas and Giovanni Boldini could also make the trip for trainer Aidan O'Brien, while Dermot Weld's Irish 2,000 Guineas third Mustajeeb and the Paul Deegan-trained Prince Of All could join the Irish challenge.

Kingman and Night Of Thunder both appear among the 12 entries at the latest forefeit stage and are set to clash for the third time this season.

While John Gosden's Kingman was far superior in the Greenham at Newbury, Richard Hannon's Night Of Thunder turned the tables in the Qipco 2000 Guineas to spring a 40-1 surprise. Night Of Thunder has not run since, but the form of that win could not have worked out any better.

Kingman has landed the Irish Guineas, third home Australia won the Derby last week, and Dante and French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby was well behind in 10th.

Hannon is also due to run last year's National Stakes hero Toormore, who could finish only seventh in the Guineas. With stable jockey Richard Hughes on Night Of Thunder, Ryan Moore has been booked.

Toormore is owned by James Pak and Middleham Park Racing, and their racing manager Tim Palin said: "We got confirmation Ryan Moore will definitely ride Toormore, which we're delighted about.

"Ryan got on particularly well with Toormore in the Craven. We respect Richard Hughes' decision to ride Night Of Thunder. He's always liked that horse, it won the Guineas. It must have been very difficult for him and we're delighted to be in the race and secure Ryan, a tip-top jockey.

"The time of the Craven was an exceptional one. Richard (Hughes) said after the Guineas that Toormore ran flat. We felt he didn't go there quite on his A-game that day. Hopefully, he will turn up for the St James's Palace on his A-game.

"It's a very competitive race. There's Kingman and Night Of Thunder vying for favouritism, but if we can spoil the party that would be great.

"Next Tuesday is a big day in Toormore's life. Either he is the champion from last year and the best of his generation or the Guineas demonstrated the strength in depth of the three-year-old milers this year and that is his place in the pecking order. We will find that out on Tuesday which makes it very exciting."

Charlie Appleby's Breeders' Cup winner Outstrip, Mark Johnston's Bow Creek, Gosden's Muwaary and the William Haggas-trained Yuften complete the St James's Palace list.

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