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Sudirman takes Command at HQ

WAR Command was a long odds-on favourite for the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes – the first two-year-old Group One race in Europe this season – at the Curragh yesterday after producing a rout in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on just his second start, and at astronomical odds.

However, before yesterday's race some questioned War Command's claims for the feature at HQ as the form of the Coventry Stakes has been less than complimentary, with nine of the runners in that race running in a total of 17 races and only one of them has been victorious.

Those who had doubts were well and truly justified as the odds-on shot could only finish third as the David Wachman-trained Sudirman ruled supreme under Wayne Lordan.

"He's a good horse and he has always shown us he's a good horse right from day one," the winning trainer revealed afterwards about the colt who was sent off at 4/1 for the valuable six-furlong contest.

"He doesn't do a lot when he gets to the front but he's tough and genuine and keeps galloping and since the Railway Stakes we were very hopeful!"

The son of Henrythenavigator has now won three from five but is unbeaten on his last three and just like his Railway Stakes win over the course and distance at the end of last month, it was John Murphy's Big Time that was exactly half a length further back in second.

Wachman added: "He won't win a race by far, he's tough and he's a grinder and Wayne gave him a lovely ride. I'd say there's a bit left in the locker still – he's not a flamboyant horse.

"Fast ground is key, but he is crying out for seven furlongs all along and we'll step him up now once he is well and he certainly works as good as any of the two-year-olds we have had through our hands anyway."

The National Stakes back at the Curragh was touted as a possibility providing the ground remains quick, the trainer concluded.

It was a big Group race double for jockey Lordan, who half an hour later guided Slade Power to victory in the Paypal Supporting Autism Phoenix Sprint Stakes for trainer Eddie Lynam.

Lynam has enjoyed a real fruitful time of things with his sprinters and his stable star Sole Power will take on the Nunthorpe Stakes next week, but for Slade Power it was a blistering Group Three success with the four-year-old recording the second quickest time ever over the course.

Earlier on the card the Group Two Debutante Stakes was won by Tapestry who led home an Aidan O'Brien 1-2 with Perhaps in second.