/ Racing

War Command is declared for Phoenix Stakes

Updated: Friday, 09 Aug 2013 15:09 | Comments

War Command was one of the most impressive winners of the week at Royal Ascot
War Command was one of the most impressive winners of the week at Royal Ascot

War Command will aim to back up the huge impression he created in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in Sunday's Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt bolted up by six lengths, just 11 days after making a winning debut.

He has been given a mid-season break to recover from those exertions and will aim to give O'Brien an unbelievable 13th win in the race since just 1998.

"He's in good form. I couldn't have been happier when he won at Leopardstown on his debut," said his jockey Joseph O'Brien, who overlooked War Command to ride Stubbs in the Coventry.

"We were hoping he'd run well at Royal Ascot, but he bolted up. He's a lazy worker but he has a good attitude and he never kills himself at home.

"You can take notice of how a race works out but it's more important to have your own horse in good form.

"He's had a little break and has strengthened up. He'd have no problem with six or seven furlongs and we'd be hoping for a good run on Sunday."

O'Brien will also runs Wilshire Boulevard, winner of the Anglesey Stakes last time out.

The sole challenger from England is Mick Channon's Ambiance, fourth in the Norfolk Stakes at Ascot and a close third in the Molecomb at Goodwood.

"I thought he ran really well at Goodwood," said Ted Voute, owner Prince Faisal's racing advisor.

"He's so laid-back that when he hit the front it was like he was in a gallop at home.

"Maybe that's as good as he is, I don't know, but the two-year-old form has been a bit all over the place this season and he deserves a go in a race like this."

John Murphy supplemented the promising Big Time after he finished second to Sudirman in the Railway Stakes.

"We're looking forward to it. The horse is in the form of his life," said Murphy.

"It was either this or the Prix Morny. We decided to come here as it's on our doorstep and he's quite a big horse, so we decided it might be better not to travel.

"I think he's improved since his last run, but I'm sure the other trainers are thinking the same.

"Aidan's horse looked the real deal in Ascot, so we'll see what happens.

"We'll know a lot more on Sunday night, that's for sure.

"This could be our horse's last run of the year, or he could go for the National Stakes afterwards."

David Wachman's Sudirman and Big Time meet again with the former's jockey, Wayne Lordan, looking forward to the challenge.

"He won quite well when he won the Group Two and he's a progressive horse who'd come on well from his maiden," Lordan told At The Races.

"He's in good order. It's a hard race to win but we're going into it with a nice horse with a chance.

"War Command stands out, he was very impressive at Ascot but we're happy with our horse so we'll go and have a go.

"He's had a nice break, he's a big horse but he came out of it well.

"He can race a bit lazy but you know when you get stuck into him there's a lot under the bonnet so hopefully he can prove that again."

Sniper, the Ger Lyons-trained maiden, completes the six-runner field.

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