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Like mother, like son: Found's first foal Battleground shines in Vintage

Battleground makes light work of his Vintage Stakes rivals at Goodwood
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There is nothing flashy about Battleground but he is effective and has Aidan O’Brien already thinking of next year’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas.

As short as 7-1 for the Classic, Battleground had the look of his mother and Arc winner, Found, in claiming a third Vintage Stakes for O’Brien.

The Group 2 has a classy roll-call of winners, including Pinatubo and O’Brien’s Highland Reel, and Battleground did its reputation no harm with a two-length defeat of Superlative Stakes second Devious Company.

Arriving at Goodwood having won the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, the son of War Front was settled in midfield behind leader King Zain before Ryan Moore angled him out at the three-furlong pole.

Battleground: a two-length winner of the Vintage Stakes

That he was in command with two furlongs left was the most impressive part. After overhauling Devious Company the lead increased only in fractions, the result a performance more professional than spectacular. But there was character in it. 

O’Brien said: “We thought this was a lovely race for him. The ground was lovely and safe and Ryan was very happy with him.

"There are similarities to his mother. He’s a big powerful horse and very genuine. That’s the way she was. We thought that he would be a miler, probably, He’s got a lot of speed and is a strong traveller. He is by War Front.”

Improvement will surely come over further than seven furlongs, which will be the trip on his next assignment at the Curragh in September.

O’Brien said: “We would be thinking his next run would be the National Stakes. He’s a horse we’ve always loved.”

Asked where Battleground ranked among his juveniles, O’Brien said:  All the two-year-olds got a little bit messed up at the start of the season and we had to rush some of them to get to Ascot. A lot of stuff wasn’t ideal. But he was lovely.

Battleground hits the front under Ryan Moore in the Vintage Stakes

“It’s very early for horses yet. An awful lot will come out. Some will improve, some will stand still and some will go back. But we’re delighted with him.”

The form could be respectable and among those behind Youth Spirit’s strong finish in third, having been sandwiched between Battleground and Dark Lion after the stalls opened, pointed to better things.

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There are similarities to his mother. He’s a big powerful horse and very genuine. That’s the way she was
E.W. Terms