Declaration of War faces stiffest test at Newbury

Tony Hamilton rides Glens Diamond to victory in the Qipco Yorkshire Cup at York yesterday. Picture: PA

Tony Hamilton rides Glens Diamond to victory in the Qipco Yorkshire Cup at York yesterday. Picture: PA

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Joseph O’Brien admits Declaration Of War faces by far the stiffest test of his career in today’s JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

The winner of five of his six starts to date, the four-year-old is jumping up in class from winning a Listed race on his reappearance, although he did win a Group 3 contest at Dundalk last October. That leaves him with plenty to find on the figures for this prestigious race but he has been heavily backed all week with the expectancy that he will handle the rise in grade in his stride.

Aidan O’Brien has several options in all the middle-distance Group Ones this summer, but victory for Declaration Of War could make him the go-to horse for the main events. His jockey said: “He’s progressed through the ranks steadily since he joined us and he’s been very good. This is his biggest test by far, though. He won over one-mile-three at Dundalk but he won over a mile in France before he joined us and then won over a mile at Leopardstown last time out. He’s very versatile regarding his trip.

“The quicker the ground the better for him, I think, because his best performance for us was at Dundalk. If he were to win this he’d have plenty of options for the rest of the season because he’s already shown he stays further than this.”

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor hopes Farhh can break his Group 1 duck. After winning the Thirsk Hunt Cup last year, Godolphin’s five-year-old was second in four Group 1s, twice behind Frankel. “Last time out he finished second in France, but he picked up a problem. He got a small chip in his ankle which needed surgery and that is why he hasn’t run since,” said Bin Suroor. “He wintered here as there was no race for him in Dubai anyway. He’s been working nicely since I’ve been back. He should run well.

Cityscape is, like Frankel, owned by Khalid Abdullah, which meant the pair were kept apart last season. Because of the mighty colt’s presence in all the top mile races last year, Roger Charlton’s 2012 Dubai Duty Free winner had to travel around the world searching for success. With Frankel retired, Cityscape now has the luxury of staying at home. “On official ratings he’s the best miler in Europe. Obviously there’s a few new kids on the block this year like Declaration Of War, so he’ll need to maintain his form,” said Charlton.

German raider Amaron has a Group 1 win to his name already, in the Premio Vittorio di Capua in Italy. Trainer Andreas Lowe said: “He wasn’t 100 per cent fit when he finished third in a Group 3 in Paris last month. He is very fit now and I’m in a good mood about the race but I recognise how hard it will be to win.”

David O’Meara’s Penitent has had his last three races in France, Dubai and Hong Kong but runs in Britain for the first time since winning the Joel Stakes at Newmarket. Richard Hannon won successive renewals of this race with Paco Boy and Canford Cliffs before Frankel’s cakewalk last year, and this time runs Trumpet Major and Libranno. Roger Varian runs Aljamaaheer, who has always been highly regarded but has yet to really live up to his home reputation.

At York yesterday, Tony Hamilton stepped out of Paul Hanagan’s shadow when recording his biggest riding success on Glen’s Diamond in the Qipco Yorkshire Cup.

He bravely made all the running on the unconsidered 25-1 shot and said: “He’s tough, he can be keen but tactics were left to me today and they said put your hands on his neck and get him relaxed. We landed in front so I rode a race from the front and he did it the hard way.”

SELECTIONS

Newbury

1.30 Remote

2.05 Harris Tweed

2.40 Seeking Magic

3.15 Hillstar

3.50 Declaration Of War (nap)

4.25 Royal Challis

5.30 You’re The Boss

6.05 Indignant

Bangor

1.55 Just Cameron

2.30 Desert Nova

3.05 Monte Cavallo

3.40 Brody Bleu

4.15 Scoglio

4.50 Blue Buttons

5.20 That’s Rhythm

Newmarket

1.45 Pashan Garh

2.20 Caravan Rolls On

2.55 Melody Of Love

3.30 Dundonnell

4.05 Holy Warrior

4.40 Granell

5.15 Prince’s Trust

5.50 Cafe Society

Thirsk

2.15 Princess Rose

2.50 Oldjoesaid

3.25 Fast Shot

4.00 Noble Storm

4.35 Just Darcy

5.10 Invincible Hero

5.45 Roland

6.20 The Tiddly Tadpolee

Doncaster

5.25 El Bravo

5.55 Will To Survive

6.25 Grand Denial

7.00 Kerbaaj

7.30 Intimidate

8.05 Albasharah

8.35 Lenny Bee

Uttoxeter

5.35 Letsby Avenue

6.10 Molon Labe

6.40 Flash Harriet

7.15 Coeur De Fou

7.45 Master Milan

8.20 Kindly Note

8.50 Perfect Poison

Saturday Yankee

Declaration of War

3:50 Newbury

Seeking Magic

2:40 Newbury

Caravan Rolls On

2:20 Newmarket

Holy Warrior

4:05 Newmarket

TOMORROW

Market Rasen

2.00 Yes Daddy

2.30 Houseparty

3.00 Churchfield Champ

3.30 Va’Vite

4.00 Balinroab (nap)

4.30 Bedrock Fred

5.00 Make Me A Fortune

Ripon

2.10 Earl’s Bridge

2.40 Jaga Time

3.10 Body And Soul

3.40 Osteopathic Remedy

4.10 Aegaeus

4.40 Avon Breeze

5.10 Thouwra

Stratford

2.20 Daliance

2.50 Golden Acorn

3.20 Pacha Du Polder

3.50 Sail And Return

4.20 Buachaill Alainn

4.50 Midnight Chorister

Double

Ballinroab

4:00 Market Rasen

Va’Vite

3:30 Market Rasen

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