Air Force Blue

Bay 2013 16.0½ hh
War Front – Chatham
Distance won over: 6f. – 7f.

European Champion 2YO by WAR FRONT

Fee for :

European Champion 2YO by WAR FRONT

The first time since 2001 that any two-year-old has won three European Group 1 races

WON   Dewhurst Stakes [G1], Newmarket
WON   Vincent O’Brien National Stakes [G1], Curragh
WON   Phoenix Stakes [G1], Curragh
WON   Maiden, Curragh on debut May 24

“the best two-year-old we’ve ever had”  Aidan O’Brien

  • From the family of Champions Flanders & Surfside
  • Very good looking – a $490,000 Keeneland September yearling

Timeform Rating of 128p

“None of O’Brien’s previous champion two-year-olds has been rated so highly as Air Force Blue who is the best champion of his age group in Europe for nearly 20 years, with the exception of Frankel.” Timeform

“…he won three Group 1’s – the Phoenix S., the National S. and the Dewhurst – and ended 2015 the highest-rated 2-year-old ever trained by Aidan O’Brien… That kind of 2-year-old class is very dangerous; very good sires have had similar records to Air Force Blue’s – only they weren’t as good…” Bill Oppenheim, TDN

Excellence as a 2yo has been the hallmark of many of Ashford Stud’s most successful stallions, such as Giant’s Causeway, Scat Daddy and Uncle Mo. Air Force Blue excelled at that age in Ireland, as did Giant’s Causeway. Whereas Giant’s Causeway was rated the second-best juvenile in Europe, with a rating of 120, Air Force Blue was rated Europe’s best 2yo with a rating of 124, after winning three consecutive Gr.1 races. He took the Phoenix Stakes over six furlongs and both the National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes over seven. Few colts have succeeded in winning both the National Stakes and the
Dewhurst but one of them was Storm Cat’s sire Storm Bird.

A $490,000 yearling, Air Force Blue comes from the sixth crop by War Front. The previous five had all been sired at fees of $15,000 or less, but that hasn’t stopped the son of Danzig siring 30 Graded/Group winners from the 483 foals in those six crops. This equates to a world-class figure of more than 6% and War Front already seems destined to follow in Danzig’s footsteps as an important sire of sires.

Air Force Blue made his name on turf, both his parents and his grandsires did all their winning on dirt, so he is entitled to prove as versatile as War Front regarding his progeny’s surface requirements. His second dam, Circle of Gold, is a sister to Flanders, America’s champion 2yo filly of 1994, when she won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Air Force Blue has the advantage of having none of the SEATTLE SLEW blood which helped Flanders produce the multiple Gr.1 winner Surfside. War Front has sired Graded winners from mares by A.P. INDY and his son PULPIT, achieving an impressive 19% SW’s with daughters of PULPIT. TAPIT mares should play to Air Force Blue’s strengths. War Front has several good winners inbred 2×4 to DANZIG, including the Gr.1-winning 2yo’s Hit It A Bomb (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf) and Brave Anna (Cheveley Park Stakes).

The great MR PROSPECTOR, who has combined extremely well with the Danzig male line, will be back in the fifth and sixth generations of Air Force Blue’s foals. War Front has Gr.1 winners out of mares by FORTY NINER, MISWAKI and SMART STRIKE, plus Gr.2 winners with dams by WOODMAN and PROCIDA. The FAPPIANO branch is another attractive option, as War Front has 3 SW’s from his first 17 foals out of UNBRIDLED’S SONG mares. Air Force Blue creates 5×4 to Fappiano with UNBRIDLED’S SONG mares.

Mares from the SADLER’S WELLS line should also shine with Air Force Blue. War Front has two Gr.1 two-year-old winners out of a SADLER’S WELLS mare, a Gr.2 two-year-old winner out of a GALILEO mare, and a Gr.2 winner out of an EL PRADO mare. Mares by MEDAGLIA D’ORO and KITTEN’S JOY are likeable options.

At least six other grandsons of Danzig have sired Gr.1 winners from STORM CAT line mares, including from daughters of GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, HENNESSY and TALE OF THE CAT. Mares by SCAT DADDY should work.

War Front has Graded winners from mares by two BLUSHING GROOM line stallions, including the top-class Declaration of War from a RAHY mare.

The ROBERTO male line should suit, War Front has Graded winners with mares by DYNAFORMER and RED RANSOM, and from mares by ARCH, a son of KRIS S. He has Gr.1/Gr.2 winners with second dams by SILVER HAWK.

European Champion Juvenile Of 2015

1stDewhurst Stakes – Gr.1, 7f., Newmarket by 3 ¼ lengths from Massaat and Sanus Per Aquam.
1stNational Stakes – Gr.1, 7f., Curragh by 3 lengths from Herald The Dawn and Birchwood.
1stPhoenix Stakes – Gr.1, 6f., Curragh by 2 lengths from Washington DC and Buratino.
1stMaiden, 6f., Curragh on debut.
2ndCoventry Stakes – Gr.2, 6f., Royal Ascot beaten 2 lengths by Buratino with Eltezam third.

Timeform Rating of 128p