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War Command backed as O’Brien and Hannon dominate Coventry field

Aidan O’Brien has set punters a problem by declaring three colts for Tuesday’s Coventry Stakes. Ante-post favourite Stubbs is joined by the unbeaten pair of Sir John Hawkins and War Command.

Joseph O’Brien rides Stubbs whilst Ryan Moore partners Sir John Hawkins and Seamie Heffanon teams up with War Command. The latter won on his debut at Leopardstown by a neck from Jim Bolger’s Intensified, the same colt that had chased home Sir John Hawkins previously.

Sir John Hawkins is by Henrythenavigator, one of six previous winners in this race for O’Brien when successful in 2007. Stubbs is the most experienced of the trio having won his last two starts at Navan and Naas following an encouraging third on his debut.

He retains his position at the head of the market but War Command has been cut to 9-1 from 12-1 after sustained support.

Richard Hannon has also enjoyed considerable success in this event with three victories including Canford Cliffs in 2009. He has also left three in the race with Richard Hughes partnering the impressive Newbury winner Championship.

The son of Exceed and Excel was slowly away but picked up nicely to win with a little in hand. Frankie Dettori rides Woodcote Stakes winner Thunder Strike with Dane O’Neill aboard Wahaab. Thunder Strike completed a hat-trick of wins when holding off the late challenge of Riverboat Springs at Epsom.

The runner-up did not handle the course very well that day and Mick Channon’s colt should be more at home on Ascot’s straight course. Channon also runs Jallota who ran out a ready winner at Newmarket after decent efforts at Newbury and York.

Richard Fahey does not waste his entry fees at this meeting and there may be more to come from York winner Parbold whilst Mark Johnston relies on Goodwood winner Lanark. Brian Meehan has chosen to run Mawfoor here in preference to Man Amongst Men who was second to Championship. The son of Iffraaj briefly looked in trouble at Haydock but was well on top at the finish.