Dark Angel's Wings Of War Wins The Mill Reef

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Wings Of War | racingfotos.com

It is a rare season that Clive Cox and Adam Kirby do not combine with a juvenile of note and Isa Salman Al Khalifa's Wings of War (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) stepped up to the plate for the combo in Saturday's G2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef S. at Newbury. Runner-up last time in the G3 Sirenia S. over this six-furlong trip on Kempton's Polytrack Sept. 4, the grey was keen early directly behind the leader Hierarchy (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) after a start delayed by the withdrawal of the G2 Gimcrack S. runner-up Gis a Sub (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) who had become upset in the stalls. Launched under strong driving to chase that long-time leader, who had been behind him when third in the Sirenia, the 17-2 shot had enough in reserve to subdue him in the last 100 yards and assert for a head success. “We've loved him from the start, but they've got to go and do that for you,” Cox said. “He's got a bit of scope and maturity to develop into. He's always given us plenty of confidence at home that he was a proper horse.”

Wings of War began his career with a second iver five furlongs in a Leicester novice at the start of June before going one better when making all over an extra furlong at Nottingham July 16. Third in the Goffs UK Premier Yearling S. at York Aug. 19 before his Sirenia effort, he provided a boost to that form along with Hierarchy to follow up the stable's win in this with Harry Angel (Ire) five years ago. “He showed a bit of greenness in his last couple of starts, but Adam gave him a good ride today. He was good and he was ready for this sort of test today. I just hope and pray he turns out as good as the last winner of this race we had in Harry Angel. I'm not sure what we'll do next, I'll discuss it with Sheikh Isa and we'll do what's best for the horse. I'm not sure if he'd benefit from another run this year or whether we'll be looking towards next year.”

Cox is happy to stay sprinting next season. “I'm delighted for connections and we've got a proper horse for next year over six furlongs,” he added. “I think that's what he is, I don't think we need to explore over further. Mentally there's scope for him to improve, so there's the potential for more. He was even on edge when he got here today as there's a bit going on, more than he's used to, but as the day has gone on he's got more at ease and put in a performance to be proud of.”

Wings of War is the first foal out of Futoon (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}), who was placed in the Listed Lansdown S., Listed Kilvington S. and Listed Cecil Frail S. Under the third dam Refined (Ire) (Statoblest {Ire}) are several group performers in the sprinting category, headed by a past Mill Reef scorer in Galeota (Ire) (Mujadil) who was also second in the G1 Golden Jubilee S. They include the Sirenia-winning half-siblings Burnt Sugar (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) and Brown Sugar (Ire) (Tamayuz {GB}), Oscula (Ire) (Galileo Gold {GB}) who captured this term's G3 Prix Six Perfections and the smart Logo Hunter (Ire) (Brazen Beau {Aus}) who has also emerged as a sprinter of note in 2021 when winning the Listed Sole Power Sprint S. and Listed Midsummer Sprint S. Futoon's full-brother to the winner is sure to be hot property at the upcoming Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 2.

Saturday, Newbury, Britain
DUBAI DUTY FREE MILL REEF S.-G2, £79,300, Newbury, 9-18, 2yo, 6fT, 1:12.40, gd.
1–WINGS OF WAR (IRE), 127, c, 2, by Dark Angel (Ire)
     1st Dam: Futoon (Ire) (MSP-Eng), by Kodiac (GB)
     2nd Dam: Vermilliann (Ire), by Mujadil
     3rd Dam: Refined (Ire), by Statoblest (Ire)
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GROUP WIN. (£140,000 Ylg '20 GOFFUK). O-Isa Salman Al Khalifa; B-Grangemore Stud (IRE); T-Clive Cox; J-Adam Kirby. £44,971. Lifetime Record: 5-2-2-1, $114,773. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Hierarchy (Ire), 127, c, 2, Mehmas (Ire)–Cheworee (GB), by Milk It Mick (GB). (€5,000 RNA Wlg '19 GOFNOV; £9,000 RNA Ylg '20 TATIRY; £105,000 2yo '21 TATBRG). O-David Howden & Qatar Racing; B-Mountain View Stud & Tally Ho Stud (IRE); T-Hugo Palmer. £17,050.
3–Fearby (Ire), 127, c, 2, Havana Gold (Ire)–Coolminx (Ire), by One Cool Cat. (13,000gns Wlg '19 TATFOA; 21,000gns Ylg '20 TAOCT). O-Clarendon Thoroughbred Racing; B-Ringfort Stud (IRE); T-Edward Bethell. £8,533.
Margins: HD, 1HF, HD. Odds: 8.50, 18.00, 8.00.
Also Ran: Dhabab (Ire), Maglev (Ire), Manaccan (GB), Gubbass (Ire), Khunan (GB), Melayu Kingdom (Ire). Scratched: Gis A Sub (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

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