/ Racing

Aidan & Joseph O'Brien land impressive double at Naas

Updated: Monday, 28 Apr 2014 20:42 | Comments

Aidan O'Brien's War Envoy impressed with a first win at Naas
Aidan O'Brien's War Envoy impressed with a first win at Naas

Aidan O'Brien struck with a couple of exciting prospects at Naas as Guerre and War Envoy looked potential top-notchers after easy victories.

War Envoy made an impressive start to his racing career in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden at Naas.

A son of the in-vogue stallion War Front out of a Listed-winning mare, War Envoy's claims were hardly a secret and he was sent off the 1-3 favourite for trainer Aidan O'Brien.

With the O'Brien's son Joseph in the saddle, War Envoy made smooth progress to take up the running around the furlong marker and his rider had to barely flick the whip to send him to the front.

Given a considerate ride by O'Brien, the strapping War Envoy won by a comfortable length from Packing Go Go to stake an early claim to be part of the Ballydoyle team at Royal Ascot.

Part-owner Derrick Smith was on hand to witness the success, telling the racecourse announcer he was planning to watch Chelsea in their Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

O'Brien Snr said: "I'm delighted with that for a first run, you could not ask for much more.

"He'll come on plenty for that as he is still quite babyish.

"He will probably come back here for a winners' race."

O'Brien sent out another smart-looking War Front colt in The Great War to win at Tipperary last week, and the pair share favouritism with RaceBets at 6-1 for the Coventry Stakes at the Royal meeting.

Spokesman Joseph Burke said: "It would appear that Aidan O'Brien is able to unleash talented War Front juveniles at will.

"Irish-trained horses have won the last three renewals of the Coventry Stakes, with O'Brien training two of those, including last year's winner War Command, another son of War Front."

O'Brien's Guerre created a striking impression as he put his elders in their place in the Listed Woodlands Stakes.

Yet another son of War Front, he saw a racecourse just twice as a juvenile, winning at the Curragh before chasing home Shining Emerald in the Blenheim Stakes back at the same venue in September.

Despite opposition of the calibre of last year's winner Maarek, he was backed into 11-4 favouritism and when O'Brien asked him for an effort two furlongs out the response was impressive as he dashed into a clear lead, still having a length and a half in hand of Prix de l'Abbaye winner Maarek (7-2) passing the post.

The winning trainer said: "He's a fast horse, and that wasn't a bad performance for a three-year-old against older horses.

"I'm delighted with him, he could go for something like the Greenland Stakes on Guineas weekend at the Curragh.

"It's always possible then he could drop back to five furlongs for Royal Ascot."

The O'Briens were earlier denied another two-year-old winner as Coto made all for a surprise success in the Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Fillies Maiden.

Trained by Matty Tynan, the twice-raced Coto jumped into a quick lead under Colin Keane, racing sweetly on the front end and taking full advantage of a slightly muddled passage for O'Brien on the debutant Timbuktu (7-4 favourite).

The latter stayed on nicely through the final furlong but 33-1 chance Coto had enough in the tank to score by half a length.

Tynan said: "It is unbelievable for a small trainer to come here and win a maiden, and I had a few quid on her at 66-1.

"It was hard to know how good she was as I don't have any two-year-olds to work with her."

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