Group 2 winner War Decree retires to Inglewood

In a major boost for New Zealand breeding, Inglewood Stud, in partnership with Kevin Hickman’s Valachi Downs, has secured 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,” Inglewood’s Gus Wigley said.

“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 Aidan O’Brien, War Decree proved himself among the best two-year-olds in Europe with a dominant win in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes (1400m).

He then went on to finish a close runner-up in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes (1400m) in his only other start as a juvenile.

War Decree continued that form into his three-year-old season, winning the Group 3 Diamond Stakes (2100m) which was the catalyst for a campaign that included the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic (2000m), Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) and Group 1 Dubai Turf (1800m).

While the campaign proved a challenge for the youngster, it showed the high regard his trainer held for him.

“He’s a horse who had a lot of natural talent and ability,” O’Brien said.

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“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 per cent).

While War Front has been dominant in his resident North America, he has experienced great success in Europe with his association with Coolmore Stud in Ireland. His 25 stakes winners in Europe include six Group 1 winners and a Champion two-year-old for the last three seasons.

On his female side, War Decree is equally well represented, his dam is a daughter of Street Cry and the multiple Group 1 winning mare Ticker Tape.

“War Decree just has that complete profile we look for in a stallion,” Wigley said.

“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 1 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.”

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