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War Command - Royal Ascot 18.06.2013

War Command romps to Coventry Stakes success under Seamie Heffernan

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

War in total command of Coventry for O'Brien

Report: Royal Ascot, Tuesday

Coventry Stakes (Group 2) 6f, 2yo colts and geldings

WAR COMMAND turned the Coventry into a procession as the 20-1 chance slammed the field in hugely impressive fashion.

It was a second victory on the card for Aidan O'Brien, and for sire War Front, with all four winners trained in Ireland, and bookmakers were quick to offer 2,000 Guineas quotes for the winner, with Paddy Power shortest at 5-1, while Ladbrokes go 10-1.

O'Brien was expected to be in the winner's enclosure for the race again, having won six of the past 16 runnings, but it was from an unexpected source as favourite Stubbs failed to make the frame, while Sir John Hawkins took third.

Parbold was runner-up for Richard Fahey, but the field were all left trailing in War Command's wake.

Stubbs had tracked the pace with Championship for company, and did appear poised to make a strong challenge, but could not pick up like the winner, while Championship was in trouble from a fair way out.

Thunder Strike had briefly hit the front in the centre, but when Seamie Heffernan unleased War Command on the stands' side, it only took a few strides before the race was over, with pair crossing the line six lengths clear.

O'Brien said: "We always liked him and he won his maiden nicely. He was green there and he had to make a few moves to win, but he won snug and if you had seen that race you would have liked him."

He added: "He's another Danzig type - speed and fast ground. He can do a lot of things now. He can be trained for the Heinz or any of those races. He has a lot of options."

Richard Fahey said of the runner-up Parbold: "We wouldn't have beaten the winner but Tony [Hamilton] said the traffic cost him two or three lengths. In race riding you make a decision and he went with the fancied runners and it didn't happen. It would be hard not to go down the route of the sales races.

"He's very laid back horse and will come on again for this. What he's got is a lot of scope and he'll improve with racing. He's a gent."

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