Declaration Of War outguns Juddmonte rivals
Updated: Wednesday, 21 Aug 2013 23:11
Aidan O'Brien's teak-tough Declaration Of War caused a minor surprise in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York, in which Sussex Stakes winner Toronado was a distinct disappointment.
Since winning the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, Declaration Of War had finished behind Al Kazeem in the Eclipse and Toronado at Goodwood.
Since then he has even been to France to contest the Prix Jacques le Marois.
While Declaration Of War has not run a bad race all season, it still took a leap of faith to see him turn the form around with Al Kazeem and Toronado.
But Joseph O'Brien always appeared to look the most comfortable jockey and he saw off Irish Derby winner Trading Leather by a length and a quarter at odds of 7-1.
Al Kazeem, the 11-8 favourite, was third, but Toronado was in trouble a long way from home and was never a factor.
"He has such an unbelievable constitution, this horse, we've never had one like him" - Aidan O'Brien
Joseph O'Brien said afterwards: "I'm not sure if it was as much of a surprise to us as it was to a lot of people.
"In the Eclipse it was probably my fault. James (Doyle on Al Kazeem) got first run on me. I was only getting involved in the last 100 yards and it was all over.
"This lad is tough and hardy. He's been running consistently well and a mile and a quarter on hard ground suits him lovely.
"He travelled very well, relaxed great and toughed it out to the line.
"We always thought you could drop him back in trip to six or seven furlongs. He was left in the Nunthorpe until the very end.
"Obviously five (furlongs) would have been a bit sharp for him, but he is hardy and handles fast ground very well."
Aidan O'Brien said of the winner: "He has such an unbelievable constitution, this horse, we've never had one like him.
"He's had all these races but he never goes backwards. He's in full work all the time at home.
"I know I said after Ascot that he'd go back in trip rather than forward, but I suppose there aren't the races for him.
"He's not lost a kilo all year and he has such a physique - he has to be busy as he does himself so well.
"There's a lot (of horses) going there but he could go to Leopardstown (Irish Champion Stakes) now.
"He could go to the Breeders' Cup later on (for the Classic). Giant's Causeway handled the dirt, the key is to jump and travel. The lads (Coolmore) will decide, I'm sure.
"To go there you need a horse that travels strong and gets a mile and a quarter."
Richard Hannon jnr, the trainer's son and assistant, said of the disappointing Toronado: "He just didn't run his race.
"It wouldn't have made a difference if it was over six furlongs, seven or a mile. It's very disappointing.
"We'll go through him at home and at least there are two months until the big mile races, it's just a shame we didn't see what he could do at this trip."
Bolger said of the runner-up: "It was an excellent run and he'll now go to Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Stakes.
"He'll appreciate the uphill finish."
Trainer Roger Charlton felt the ground contributed to Al Kazeem's eclipse.
He said: "James (Doyle) never felt happy at any stage. He wanted to press Trading Leather more, and he couldn't do it.
"He's had three runs on firm ground and he was looking after himself, I think.
"You hope you can get away with it, but if you keep running a horse on firm ground when he prefers it softer, that's what happens.
"Whether he goes for the Irish Champion Stakes or whatever, we'll just see how he comes back."