Newmarket preview: Superlative Stakes (14.35)
Air Vice Marshall can take the step up into Group 2 company in his stride to land the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket, and provide top Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien with his third winner of the 7f contest (14.35).
The colt shaped with plenty of promise on his debut when third over 6f at the Curragh, and duly improved for the experience to easily open his account at Gowran Park last month when stepped up to 7f.
Air Vice Marshal looked far more streetwise and, after travelling strongly on the heels of the leader, took up the running a furlong from home before showing a smart turn of foot to beat Hoppala by 2 1/2 lengths.
The beautifully bred son of War Front won easing down with tons in hand, and it was a most taking performance which suggested Air Vice Marshall was an above average sort who needed keeping firmly onside.
War Department didn’t get the chance to show how good he is last time out in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot when badly hampered and eased, but had previously created a good impression when winning on his debut and could well prove the main danger.
The William Haggas trained colt looked a potential top notch prospect when landing a 6f contest at Leicester, travelling strongly throughout before being produced to lead inside the final furlong and quickening clear to score easily by 4 1/2 lengths in a good time.
Judged on that success, War Department clearly has a huge engine, and the runner-up King’s Pavilion has scored since to give the form a solid look.
Another well worthy of a mention given connections is the Richard Hannon trained Tony Curtis.
The yard have won three of the last five renewals of this contest, and it looks significant that they are pitching the son of Rock Of Gibraltar into this just nine days after making a winning debut at Epsom.
Tony Curtis ran very green in the early part of the contest, but made good headway two from home when the penny started to drop and finished the race off strongly to win going away be a length.
This requires much more, but Tony Curtis is clearly held in high regard and the Hannon team have a number of good two-year-olds against which to judge his ability.
Coral’s best bet: Air Vice Marshall can have alarm bells ringing in opposition camps here.