Air Force Blue: needs ground no slower than good on SaturdayPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos
O'Brien: good ground key for Air Force Blue
AIR FORCE BLUE is on course to bid for a third Group 1 win at Newmarket on Saturday, although trainer Aidan O'Brien wants to see ground no slower than good for the colt's Dubai Dewhurst Stakes showdown with Emotionless.
The ground on the Rowley Mile changed from good to firm to good, good to soft in places yesterday, although the forecast for the rest of the week is mainly dry.
O'Brien said yesterday: "He's in good form and it's a case of so far, so good with him for the Dewhurst. Obviously he appreciates nice conditions, so we're hoping for good or better ground for him."
O'Brien, who has trained three winners of the Dewhurst - Rock Of Gibraltar (2001), Beethoven (2009) and War Command (2013) - added: "We have three other colts in the race but Air Force Blue could be our only runner."
Air Force Blue is a best-priced 7-4 in a market headed at 11-10 by Godolphin's Emotionless.
O'Brien's colt achieved the first of his Group 1 wins in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August. The ground, which was good for that six-furlong event, was officially yielding when the son of War Front landed the National Stakes by three lengths last month.
The O'Brien-trained Minding, who beat stablemates Ballydoyle, winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp on Sunday, and Alice Springs, who won the Tattersalls Millions Trophy at Newmarket on Saturday, in the Moyglare Stud Stakes last month, is in line for the Dubai Fillies' Mile at Newmarket on Friday.
O'Brien, who landed his third success in the race when Together Forever scored a year ago, said yesterday: "We haven't finalised plans but Minding and Coolmore might both run in the Fillies' Mile."
Coolmore, a sister of Gleneagles, came good at the third attempt when winning the Group 3 Park Stakes at the Curragh last month.
Ryan Moore's booking has seen Quick Jack's price contract for Saturday's Betfred Cesarewitch, with the sponsors clipping the Tony Martin-trained Galway Hurdle winner into 7-1 joint favourite alongside Low Key.
Another Irish raider to attract money is the Willie Mullins-trained Renneti, who has been trimmed to 14-1 from 16-1 by the same firm.
Betfred spokesman Andrew Griffiths said: "It didn't take long for the Ryan Moore factor to move the market with Quick Jack shortening up three points in the space of 24 hours.
"Moore and Martin look a punter's dream team on paper and at this rate you'd have to fancy Quick Jack to be sent off favourite."