War Command set for Curragh as Dawn Approach heads for France

Aidan O’Brien: ’War Command worked well this morning and will definitely take his place in the Phoenix.’ Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Aidan O’Brien: ’War Command worked well this morning and will definitely take his place in the Phoenix.’ Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Thu, Aug 8, 2013, 08:19

War Command has been given the go-ahead to compete in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

The unbeaten colt won the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot by six lengths in June and is now set to step into Group One company.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “War Command worked well this morning and will definitely take his place in the Phoenix.

“There’s also the possibility that we’ll run Fountain Of Youth and Wilshire Boulevard.”

Johnny Murtagh, meanwhile, will partner Ambiance in the Phoenix. Murtagh, who has been in inspired form this summer, will receive the leg-up aboard Mick Channon’s colt for the first time as regular jockey Martin Harley is in action at Windsor on the same day.

Ted Voute, racing and bloodstock manager for his owner Prince Faisal, said: “Ambiance runs at the weekend and is in very good form.

“Martin is busy at Windsor so we’ve got Johnny Murtagh on board, which is never a bad thing – especially on home turf.”

Dawn Approach is “an intended runner” in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Sunday. Jim Bolger’s colt only raced last Wednesday, when he finished second in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, but is one of 16 horses in the shake-up at the latest forfeit stage. Godolphin-owned Dawn Approach was put through his paces yesterday morning, which was enough to convince connections he is ready to make a swift return in France.

Racing manager Simon Crisford told www.godolphin.com: “Jim is very pleased with how Dawn Approach came out of the Qipco Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. If all goes well with him between now and Sunday, he is an intended runner in France.

Aidan O’Brien’s team is down to two potential candidates, with Declaration Of War, who was third in the Sussex, and Gale Force Ten still in the hat.