Declaration of War Flies to Queen Anne Win
Declaration of War burst between horses and charged down the center of the track to win the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) June 18 at Royal Ascot while U.S.-based Animal Kingdom failed to settle and faded out of contention.
Declaration of War entered off a disappointing fifth-place finish behind Farhh in the JLT Lockinge Stakes (Eng-I) last time out but made amends with a breakthrough victory at the top level in the Queen Anne.
Libranno set the pace pressed by two-time group I-winning miler Elusive Kate before Declaration of War charged through a gap to win by three-quarters of a length from Aljamaaheer. Gregorian finished a half-length back third and Elusive Kate held on for fourth in the 13-horse field.
Trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by his son Joseph, Declaration of War was timed in 1:38.48 to win at 15-2 odds on turf rated as good. He improved his record to six wins in eight career starts.
The loss in the Lockinge, marking his group I debut May 18 at Newbury, halted a three-race win streak for the War Front colt that included the 2012 Diamond Stakes (Ire-III) at 1 1/4 miles at Dundalk and Heritage Stakes at a mile April 14 at Leopardstown in his 2013 debut.
"We thought he was ready for a group I, but obviously he wasn't," Aidan O'Brien said. "I hadn't trained him hard enough for it. He is a big powerhouse capable of taking training and I didn't get that right.
"I am disappointed obviously," trainer Graham Motion said. "Johnny (Velazquez) had to fight him a little bit early, which made me worry, and said at the half-mile pole he started to ask him to run and there wasn't much there. He said (the course) rode a bit softer than it walked, but I cannot really use that as an excuse.
Declaration of War began his career in France, racing as a 2-year-old for breeder Joseph Allen and trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. The Kentucky-bred colt won both starts by a combined margin of 11 lengths before he was acquired by Coolmore and partners.
Allen retained an interest in the colt, joining the partnership that includes Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith. He was ecstatic with the victory.
"I'm in bliss!" Allen said. "It's my first win at Ascot; it's a wonderful day. My wife's here and I could not be happier. And I have great partners.
The bay colt is out of the winning Rahy mare Tempo West, a half sister to 2012 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Union Rags . She also produced Vertiformer, a French stakes-winning Dynaformer colt, who finished third in the 2012 W. L. McKnight Handicap (gr. III) at Calder as well as French stakes-placed War Pact, a full brother to Declaration of War.
War Front stands at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky. He had two winners on the Royal Ascot card with War Command's victory in the Coventry Stakes Eng-II) for 2-year-olds. Allen also bred the colt whom he also races with Coolmore and partners.
Queen Anne Stakes Press Conference.
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