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Air Force Blue claimed a third Group One victory of the season when bounding clear of the field in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.
The son of War Front went into the seven-furlong contest vying for 2000 Guineas favouritism with Godolphin’s Emotionless, who also lined up in the Dewhurst.
However, the previously unbeaten Emotionless failed to match the pace and power of Air Force Blue before fading to finish a disappointing last as the Ballydoyle horse beat Massaat by three-and-a-quarter lengths with Ryan Moore never having to get too serious.
Air Force Blue will now be aimed towards the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket next spring, with O’Brien not holding back in his praise of the colt.
Air Force Blue is 1/1 to win the 2000 Guineas while Massaat can be backed at 14/1.
O’Brien said: “I would say he is certainly the best two-year-old I’ve ever trained, by some way. He learned a lot today, not least how to handle the dip, and that will stand him in good stead for the Guineas.”
Air Force Blue had started his career by winning a six-furlong maiden at the Curragh before being pitched into the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on just his second start.
He was a two-length second behind Buratino that day, but turned the tables on the Godolphin owned and Mark Johnston trained colt when landing the Group One Phoenix Stakes back at the Curragh on his third start.
Stepped up to seven furlongs for the National Stakes, also at the Curragh, Air Force Blue proved he handles soft ground when handing out a three-length beating to Herald The Dawn and he then stated his case to be champion juvenile this season with his decisive success in the Dewhurst.