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War in command performance

Aidan O'Brien was thrilled to see exciting juvenile War Command put a shock reverse behind him with a stylish victory in the Galileo EBF Futurity Stakes at the Curragh.

After building on a Leopardstown debut win with a staggering performance in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, the American-bred colt looked set to dominate the juvenile division for the rest of the campaign.

However, being beaten into third when odds-on for the Phoenix Stakes was not in the script and he was an 8-11 favourite as he stepped back up to seven furlongs for his latest assignment.

Joseph O'Brien cut a confident figure in the saddle for much of the Group Two contest, but there was a brief moment of worry for odds-on backers as Mustajeeb loomed up as a threat.

However, War Command found another gear once popped the question and ran on to score comfortably by three lengths.

O'Brien snr said: "The Ascot horse is back. We gave him a break after Ascot and I think he was maybe asleep the last day. In the middle of the race he was a bit ring-rusty. It was obviously trainer error again. I didn't have him sharp enough or tight enough.

"He was a different horse today. He tipped up more like he did at Ascot and quickened up well. I'm very happy with him and he got the seven furlongs well.

"The boys will have a talk about it, but he'll probably come back here for the National Stakes (September 15)."

War Command was cut to 8-1 from 16-1 for next year's 2000 Guineas by Stan James, who make Kingman their 6-1 favourite.


From Belfast Telegraph