In a major boost for New Zealand breeding, Inglewood Stud, in partnership with Kevin Hickman’s Valachi Downs, has beaten off international competition to land the exciting young entire War Decree for stud duties in 2018.
“We’ve been open to the idea of standing a new stallion at Inglewood for the past four seasons,” said Inglewood’s Gus Wigley. “But we just haven’t found the right horse for us. We’ve been chasing this guy for nearly 12 months, he’s the horse we wanted and we’re just thrilled to bits to have hunted him down and secured him.”
A four length winner on his juvenile debut for trainer Aiden O’Brien, War Decree proved himself amongst the best two-year-olds in Europe with a dominant win in the esteemed G2 Vintage Stakes (7f) at Goodwood. In winning the race he beat subsequent multiple Group One winner Thunder Snow and won the race in the second fastest time in its long history. War Decree’s only other juvenile start was a close second in the G2 Superlative Stakes (7f) at Newmarket.
His efforts at three were topped by a facile win in the G3 Diamond Stakes (10f), which then saw the youngster set off on an ambitious campaign that took in three of the world’s most revered Group One races; the G1 Breeders Cup Classic, the G1 Hong Kong Cup and the G1 Dubai Turf.
While the campaign proved a challenge for the inexperienced youngster, it without doubt proved the esteem in which he was held by his trainer Aiden O’Brien.
“He's a horse who had a lot of natural talent and ability,” O’Brien said. “He’s an unusually good mover, he covers a lot of ground and barely touches it, so fast ground suited him well.”
War Decree is a son of the internationally revered War Front, whose 68 stakes winners and 18 Group One winners come from just over 450 runners (15%), making him the most potent active stallion in the world.
While War Front has been dominant in his resident North America, it has been the extraordinary association with Coolmore Stud in Ireland that has carved his place in European racing history. His 25 stakes winners in Europe include six Group One winners and a Champion 2YO for the last three seasons.
On his female side, War Decree is equally well represented, his dam being a daughter of the breed shaping stallion Street Cry (sire of Winx) and the multiple Group One winning mare Ticker Tape (Royal Applause).
It is the great American family descending from Terlingua (6th dam) which boasts the breed shaping sires Royal Academy and Storm Cat.
“War Decree just has that complete profile we look for in a stallion,” said Wigley.
“We think that profile is very similar to that of our foundation sire Zacinto, in that he was a Group Two winner that connections thought of as a genuine Group One horse, while his sire is world leading and his sire-producing female family has the thickest blue-blood.”
“I inspected War Decree in Ireland last week with Valachi’s Jonathan Scully. He’s just a smashing big horse with so much quality about him. He’s got just about the best walk I’ve seen on a horse and I think New Zealand breeders will love him.”
War Decree will stand his first season at $6,500 + GST (LFG).