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Shades of Giant's Causeway as Declaration Of War bags first-crop Classic glory

Olmedo lands the French 2,000 Guineas

Olmedo (nearside) lands the Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp
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The debut crop of Declaration Of War provided the winner of the Group 1 Emirates Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp on Sunday as the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Olmedo came with a storming late run to land the first French Classic of the season.

The three-year-old colt's pedigree brings together two of the most in vogue bloodlines, as he is a paternal grandson of Claiborne Farm kingpin War Front and out of a daughter of Pivotal, whose record as a broodmare sire in 2018 alone features the likes of Cracksman, Defoe and Mabs Cross.

The colt was bred in France by Dream With Me Stable and is out of Super Pie, who landed a Deauville maiden on debut for Yann-Marie Porzier. In turn Super Pie is out of the Group 3-placed Super Lina, a Linamix half-sister to 2003 Group 2 Prix Noailles winner Super Celebre.

Sunday's success saw Declaration Of War, who landed the Juddmonte International and Queen Anne Stakes while in training with Aidan O'Brien, match the achievement of a stallion whose footsteps he has already followed in during his short time at stud.

The son of War Front began covering duty at Coolmore's Irish base in Tipperary at a fee of €40,000 in 2014 before being transferred to the operation's US base at Ashford Stud in Kentucky, where he is standing the 2018 season at a fee of $25,000.

The switch from Tipperary to Kentucky mirrored the move made by one of the finest stallions of the era, Giant's Causeway, who also supplied the winner of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains from his first crop when Shamardal held off the late charge of Indesatchel to claim the 2005 renewal.

Shamardal went on to win the Prix du Jockey Club and the St James's Palace Stakes - held at York that year - with Olmedo now a short-priced favourite for this year's running of the former event.

Moreover, this is not the only impact Rouget has had on Declaration Of War's career, as it was under the care of the French master trainer that the horse began his own racing career, winning races at Pornichet and Deauville as a two-year-old.

Olmedo, who was bought by his trainer for €100,000 at the Arqana August V2 Sale in 2016, is one of four stakes winners sired by Declaration Of War, along with Group 3 Anglesey Stakes winner Actress, Listed St Hugh's Stakes winner Eirene and Speed Franco, who beat the Frankel colt Gidu to land the Grade 3 Dania Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park in February.

Sunday's success caps a fine start to Declaration Of War's stallion career, with the likes of fellow three-year-olds Proschema, On The Warpath and Baroness all looking like Pattern winners in waiting.

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E.W. Terms
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