Declaration of War (horse)

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Declaration of War
Declaration of War crop.jpg
Declaration of War at Leopardstown in 2013.
SireWar Front
DamTempo West
Foaled29 April 2009[1]
CountryUnited States
BreederJoseph Allen
OwnerMichael Tabor
Derrick Smith
Mrs John Magnier
Joseph Allen
TrainerJean-Claude Rouget
Aidan O'Brien
Record13: 7-1-2
Major wins
Diamond Stakes (2012)
Queen Anne Stakes (2013)
International Stakes (2013)

Declaration of War (foaled 29 April 2009) is an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He won the Group Three Diamond Stakes in 2012, but emerged as a world-class performer in the following year, winning the Queen Anne Stakes and International Stakes and being placed in the Eclipse Stakes, Sussex Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic.


Declaration of War is a bay horse with a white star and a white coronet on his left hind foot, bred by his owner Joseph Allen. He was sired by War Front who won the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap in 2006. Since retiring War Front has also sired War Command, Del Mar Oaks winner Summer Soiree, Hong Kong Classic Mile winner Sweet Orange and Malibu Stakes winner The Factor.[2] Declaration of War's dam Tempo West was descended from Glad Rags, an Irish-bred mare who won the 1000 Guineas in 1966. Other descendants of Glad Rags include the Irish 2000 Guineas winner Prince of Birds and the Belmont Stakes winners Colonial Affair and Union Rags.[3]

Declaration of War was sent into training in France with Jean-Claude Rouget as a two-year-old.

Racing career[edit]

2011 & 2012: early career[edit]

Declaration of War did not race until November 2011 when he won a minor race over 1700 metres on the all-weather track at Pornichet la Baule. In December he ran in the Prix Habitat over 1500 metres at Deauville Racecourse and won impressively by eight lengths from twelve opponents.[4]

In early 2012 a majority share in Declaration of War was sold to John Magnier's Coolmore Stud organisation and the colt was moved to Ireland to be trained by Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle. He did not race for his new trainer until 9 September when he finished fourth behind the Dermot Weld-trained seven-year-old in the Group Three Solonaway Stakes over one mile at the Curragh. Three weeks later he was moved up in distance for a race over ten furlongs on heavy ground at the same course. Ridden by his trainer's son Joseph O'Brien he started the 11/10 favourite and won by three and a half lengths.[5] In October he was moved up to Group Three class for the Diamond Stakes over ten and a half furlongs on the Polytrack course at Dundalk Racecourse. Joseph O'Brien restrained the colt at the back of the twelve runner field before switching to the outside in the straight. Declaration of War finished strongly to take the lead in the closing stages and won by half a length from Along Came Casey.[6]

2013: four-year-old season[edit]

Declaration of War began his third season in the Listed Heritage Stakes over one mile at Leopardstown Racecourse on 14 April and won easily by two and a half lengths from four opponents.[7] For his next race, the colt was sent to the United Kingdom and moved up to Group One class for the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury Racecourse. He was strongly supported in the betting and started the 5/4 favourite, but weakened in the closing stages and finished fifth, more than eleven lengths behind the winner Farhh.

Declaration of War at Newbury

Declaration of War returned to England in June for the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot where he started at odds of 15/2 with the American-trained five-year-old Animal Kingdom being made the 5/4 favourite. Joseph O'Brien settled the colt just behind the leaders but was unable to obtain a clear run and switched the colt to the left in the last quarter mile. In the final furlong Declaration of War accelerated into the lead and won from Aljamaheer, Gregoran and Elusive Kate.[8] Declaration of War was beaten in his next three races, but ran well on each occasion. He finished second to Al Kazeem in the Eclipse Stakes, third to Toronado and Dawn Approach in the Sussex Stakes and fourth to Moonlight Cloud, Olympic Glory and Intello in the Prix Jacques le Marois.

On 21 August Declaration of War started at odds of 7/1 for the Juddmonte International Stakes over ten and a half furlongs at York Racecourse. Joseph O'Brien tracked the leaders before moving the colt forward in the straight. He took the lead inside the furlongs and won by one and a quarter lengths from Trading Leather and Al Kazeem with Toronado last of the six runners. After the race O'Brien paid tribute to the winner saying: "He has an unbelievable constitution. He's made like a big sprinter, he works with a lot of speed at home, travels very strongly and definitely he's improving. Racing is the thing which is bringing him [on], which is brilliant."[9]

Bookmakers made him the 9/4 favourite for the Irish Champion Stakes but he was withdrawn on the day of the race due to the going. The race was won by The Fugue.

On 2 November, Declaration of War was one of two European runners in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park. Before Shipping to California he was given a trial gallop on the synthetic surface at Southwell Racecourse and performed very impressively, leading O'Brien to compare him favourably to his 2000 Classic runner up Giant's Causeway.[10] He started at odds of 6.7/1 in a strong field which included Game On Dude (the favorite), Paynter, Palace Malice, Mucho Macho Man, Fort Larned, Will Take Charge and Flat Out. Joseph O'Brien settled the colt behind the leaders, before moving up to make his challenge in the straight. In a closely contested finish he finished third in a three-way photo, beaten a nose and a head by Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge.


In the 2013 edition of the World's Best Racehorse Rankings Declaration of War was given a rating of 124 making him joint 11th best rated horse in the work, the same as stable mates Magician and St Nicholas Abbey.

Stud career[edit]

Declaration of war at stud

After the Breeders' Cup Declaration of War was retired and it was announced that he would stand as a stallion at Coolmore stud in Tipperary in 2014.[11] Declaration of War covered 172 mares in 2014 including a sister to derby winner High Chaparral and Danetime Out the dam of Toormore and Estidhkaar. Later in 2014 he was shuttled to Australia along with fellow first season stallion Camelot for the southern hemisphere breeding season.[12]

In 2015, Declaration of War was moved to stand at Ashford Stud in Kentucky.

His first foal, a colt out of the Pivotal mare Sri Kandi, was born in January 2015.[13]

Declaration of War was represented by his first winner on May 8, 2017 in England, when colt Declarationoflove won a five-furlong Novice Stakes.[14]

Filly Actress became Declaration of War's first graded stakes winner in July 2017, when she won the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh, defeating colts.[15]

Notable stock[edit]

Declaration of War has sired 3 individual Group/Grade 1 winners

c = colt, f = filly, g = gelding

Foaled Name Sex Major Wins
2015 Olmedo c Poule d'Essai des Poulains
2015 Winning Ways f Queensland Oaks
2017 Decorated Invader c Summer Stakes


Pedigree of Declaration of War, bay stallion, 2009[1]
War Front (USA)
Danzig (USA)
Northern Dancer Nearctic
Pas de Nom Admiral's Voyage
Starry Dreamer (USA)
Rubiano Fappiano
Ruby Slippers
Lara's Star Forli
True Reality
Tempo West (USA)
Rahy (USA)
Blushing Groom Red God
Runaway Bride
Glorious Song Halo
Tempo (USA)
Gone West Mr Prospector
Terpsichorist Nijinsky
Glad Rags (Family: 13-b)[3]


  1. ^ a b "Declaration of War pedigree". 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  2. ^ "War Front". Retrieved 2013-08-10.
  3. ^ a b "Thoroughbred Bloodlines - Lady Sarah - Family 13-b". Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  4. ^ "Prix Habitat result". Racing Post. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  5. ^ "Moyglare Stud Lifetime Achievement in Racing Trophy result". Racing Post. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  6. ^ "Diamond Stakes result". Racing Post. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  7. ^ "Heritage Stakes result". Racing Post. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  8. ^ "Queen Anne Stakes result". Racing Post. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  9. ^ Greg Wood (21 August 2013). "Declaration Of War beats hot field in York's Juddmonte International". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
  10. ^ Jon Lees (31 October 2013). "War primed to break Ballydoyle's Classic duck". Racing Post. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "First Winner for Declaration of War". Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  15. ^ "Declaration of War, Justin Phillip Get Stakes Winners". Retrieved 2017-07-17.