Unbeaten War Command leads O’Brien challenge

Joseph O'Brien looking forward to a good day at the Curragh on Sunday.
Runaway Coventry Stakes winner War Command will put his unbeaten record on the line, on Sunday, at the Curragh when he tackles a maximum of 10 opponents in the Group One Keeneland Phoenix Stakes. The son of War Front is one of five entries for trainer Aidan O’Brien, who is also represented by Fountain Of Youth, Giovanni Boldini, Wiltshire Boulevard and Bluebell.

Runaway Coventry Stakes winner War Command will put his unbeaten record on the line, on Sunday, at the Curragh when he tackles a maximum of 10 opponents in the Group One Keeneland Phoenix Stakes. The son of War Front is one of five entries for trainer Aidan O’Brien, who is also represented by Fountain Of Youth, Giovanni Boldini, Wiltshire Boulevard and Bluebell.

“War Command has been in great form since Royal Ascot and we are really looking forward to running him on Sunday,” said champion trainer Aidan O’Brien. “We will wait until later in the week as regards the other horses but Wiltshire Boulevard is also up for consideration for the race.”

Sudirman and Big Time, first and second respectively in the Group Two Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Railway Stakes at the Curragh over Irish Derby weekend, are also among the 10 entries for the six furlong juvenile contest.

The John Murphy-trained Big Time, which only went under by half a length to Sudirman that day having earlier landed a Naas maiden on his racecourse debut, has been supplemented to Sunday’s contest by connections at a cost of 20,000 euro. Ambiance (Mick Channon) is the sole British-trained challenger, while Sniper (Ger Lyons) and Muscle Beach (Charles O’Brien) are the other two entries.

One time Epsom Derby favourite is set to make his long awaited return to action in the Group Three Bet Online thetote Royal Whip Stakes. Winner of the Group One Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last October, the son of Galileo will face a maximum of seven opponents in Sunday’s contest, including Dermot Weld’s Caponata and the Mark Johnston-trained Maputo.

“We have been very happy with Kingsbarns and he has progressed lovely,” commented trainer Aidan O’Brien. “We will work the horse in the morning and make a final decision after that. Fortify also holds an entry in the race and it will be a similar situation with him.”

The Group Two Friarstown Stud Debutante Stakes has attracted an entry of 16, including five (Bluebell, Minorette, Perhaps, Tapestry and Wonderfully) from the Ballydoyle stable. Other notable entries here are Glassatura (Michael Halford), Gorteo (Johnny Murtagh) and Tap Dancing (David Wachman).

Speed is the name of the game in the Group Three Paypal Supporting Irish Autism Action Phoenix Sprint Stakes for which there are 22 entries. Hamza, Nocturn and Mass Rally are among five likely British-trained challengers, while Slade Power, Cape Of Approval, Russian Soul and Nechita spearhead the home defence.