War Decree (right) blitzed into the 2017 Classic picture
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Goodwood, Tuesday
Qatar Vintage Stakes (Group 2), 7f, 2yo colts and fillies
WAR DECREE produced a dominant display as he drew clear of the field under a hands and heels ride from Ryan Moore and announced himself as a serious contender for next season’s Classics.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt held off Godolphin pair Thunder Snow and Boynton to justify 6-4 favouritism. The win brought up a landmark moment for Aidan O’Brien, as he secured his highest total of prize money for a season in Britain.
Last year the race was won by subsequent 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold, and War Decree looked every bit the Classic contender when brushing aside his rivals.
How the race unfolded
Travelling for the most part tracking the leaders next to the rail, Moore moved his mount out into daylight with the furlong marker beckoning and, after slight hesitation, War Decree showed his class to breeze by the leaders and take control of the race.
While Moore engineered a clear passage, his main market rival had anything but. As James Doyle tried to manouvre Boynton into a position to challenge he encountered traffic issues which put an end to his claims, although he rallied with a strong run to finish third.
Moore was highly encouraged by the performance. “I think that there’s more to come,” he said. “I had a smooth run but he’s green and inexperienced, and still learning on the job. He looks like a colt for the future.”
On future targets Kevin Buckley, representing owners Coolmore, nominated the “Champagne Stakes or the National Stakes” as options for War Decree, and added: “given his pedigree, [a trip to the USA] is certainly a possibility.”
Bookmaker reaction was mixed, with bet365 as short as 10-1 following the victory, while BoyleSports and Coral offer 16-1 for War Decree in next season’s 2,000 Guineas.
O’Brien has now earned £3,930,271.54 in Britain this year, making it his most successful British season. Buckley commended the achievement of their trainer and said: “It’s quite extraordinary, the man’s a genius. It’s been a phenomenal season and everything has stayed healthy.”
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