Photo: Yuji Noda
The Juddmonte International had been billed as the battle between the ten furlong superstar Al Kazeem and Toronado, whom was stepping up to the ten furlong trip for the first time. However, whilst Al Kazeem came to the front of the pack seemingly with the race at his mercy, he was unable to quicken away from Declaration of War with Trading Leather also performing creditibly oncemore as he battled back to take second from the Roger Charlton trained star.
Toronado was unable to get into the race with his traditional zest for racing with Richard Hughes allowing the son of High Chaparral to come home in his own time in a distant last place. After the race Richard Hughes reported that his colt did not feel quite right in this contest and would not have been competitive over any distance. There will surely be further opportunities to come for the star three year old, be it this season or next, over the ten furlong distance.
Trading Leather's performance once again stamped his authority on the Classic division with yet more consistency from Jim Bolger's three year old. With Dawn Approach confined to the mile division for the timebeing, it is with intrigue that we watch on to see just how far Trading Leather can now go with the Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe now firmly on the radar for the son of Teofilo. Declaration of War has long threatened to provide us with a display of sheer domiance, having come up alongside Dawn Approach in the Sussex Stakes only to fold away tamely. Whilst this was not the display of dominance that had been hinted at, it was an effort of comfortable proportions which pushed Coolmore back into the limelight in an uncharacteristically quiet period in Group 1 contests. The exiting of St Nicholas Abbey from the racetrack had created a temporary void for the Irish superpower, seemingly with no horse able to fill the void and step up to become their reliable top class thoroughbred racehorse, but Declaration of War's performance today at York has hinted at further late season enjoyment to come.
The Irish Champion Stakes run at Leopardstown on September 7th now looks the likely and logical next stop for the four year old son of War Front before an ambitious tilt towards America in November.
Declaration of War had been considered for the Breeders Cup Classic in 2012 and whilst that consideration was not completed, the chances of the Group 1 winner travelling to Santa Anita this season look a lot more likely.
Paddy Power installed Declaration of War at 10-1 for the Breeders Cup Classic after the Juddmonte International victory.