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Air Force Blue Becomes the Ninth Grade I Winner by War Front in Europe

Over at the Curragh, trainer Aidan O’Brien’s near dominance of the Phoenix Stakes continued when the Coolmore-owned juvenile colt Air Force Blue(War Front), runner-up to Buratino (Exceed And Excel) on his previous start in the Coventry Stakes, became his trainer’s fourteenth winner of the Irish Group One in eighteen years when reversing form with his Royal Ascot conqueror in spectacular fashion, running out a two-length winner under Joseph O’Brien ahead of stablemate Washington DC (Zoffany), with the Mark Johnston-trained Group Two winner a further half-length back in third.

A $490,000 purchase by M V Magnier at the 2014 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Air Force Blue was bred by Stone Farm in Kentucky and is one of three winners produced by the U.S. triple winner and twice Listed-placed Chatham (Maria’s Mon). Her previous foals include Bugle (War Front), a three-year-old full sister to Air Force Blue and whose two victories have been achieved over one mile half-a-furlong and one mile one furlong in 2015, and the 2013 Japanese winner Schon Meer (Arch).

Hailing from the family of the 1994 Champion U.S. two-year-old filly and three-time Grade One winner Flanders, the dam of the 2000 Champion U.S. three-year-old filly and four-time Grade One winner Surfside who is herself the grandam of last season’s Group Three Prix d’Arenberg winner and Group One Cheveley Park Stakes third High Celebrity, Air Force Blue becomes the ninth individual Grade/Group One winner sired by War Front, the 2006 Grade Two Alfred G Vanderbilt Breeders’ Cup Handicap winner, who stands at Claiborne Farm and has already been represented in Europe with distinction by the O’Brien-trained Group One winners Declaration Of War and War Command.