Air Force Blue retired to stand at Ashford Stud
Air Force Blue: son of War Front was bred by Stone Farm
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos Air Force Blue retired to stand at Ashford Stud
By Mark Scully and Zoe Vicarage 4:42PM 28 SEP 2016
AIR FORCE BLUE has been retired from racing after a three-year-old campaign that failed to live up to the spectacular promise of his juvenile season.
The son of War Front was sent off the 4-5 favourite for April's Qipco 2,000 Guineas after losing only once in five starts as a two-year-old, his victories including three Group 1s; the Phoenix Stakes, National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes.
Those performances led trainer Aidan O'Brien to wax lyrical about Air Force Blue, saying after his season-concluding Newmarket romp: "He is something that we haven't had before.
"I'd say there's no doubt he's the best two-year-old we've had. The size of him, the scope, the way he travels, and when you let him go he delivers."
After beating only one home in the 2,000 Guineas and the Irish equivalent, he was then given the chance to return to form over shorter trips but finished 12th in the July Cup and last of seven in the Phoenix Sprint Stakes, both over six furlongs.
Standing in America
Bred by Stone Farm out of the winning Maria's Mon mare Chatham, he is a brother to US winner Bugle and a half-brother to Emperesse, a daughter of Empire Maker who has won in Japan. Further back it is the family of champion US two-year-old filly Flanders.
Offered at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale by his breeders in 2014, the colt was snapped up by MV Magnier for $490,000.
Air Force Blue will stand at Coolmore America's Ashford Stud, whose manager Dermot Ryan said: "With the exception of Frankel, who has made such a brilliant start to his stud career, Air Force Blue is Timeform's highest-rated juvenile in nearly 20 years. In fact, he's the highest-rated juvenile ever from the Danzig line.
"He proved himself to be a brilliant two-year-old… and we're absolutely thrilled War Front's best two-year-old son is coming to Ashford."
A fee for Air Force Blue will be announced at a later date.
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