A Hometown Win for Declaration Of War's Vow And Declare in Melbourne Cup
Mark Smith - Tuesday November 5

For the first time since Shocking ten years ago, an Australian bred, owned and trained horse has fought off the best handicappers from around the world to earn an historic win in the 159th running of the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.

The Danny O’Brien-trained Vow And Declare with Craig Williams in the saddle was headed inside the 100 metres by the wayward Master Of Reality (IRE) who ducked in and collided with the fast-finishing Il Paradiso (USA) who in turn collected the hindquarters of Vow And Declare.Vow And Declare Inside Master Of Reality outside and Ill Paradiso the meat in the sandwich - image Grant Courtney

When they crossed the line Vow And Declare defeated Master Of Reality (IRE) with Prince Of Arran (GB) equalling his feat of last year in third with the luckless Il Paradiso (USA) in fourth.

The warning signal sounded after they returned to scale with the stewards lodging a protest on behalf of Wayne Lordon on Il Paradiso against Frankie Dettori on Master Of Reality (IRE).

The stewards upheld the protest and updated the placings to 1 Vow And Declare (Declaration Of War) 2 Prince Of Arran (GB) (Shirocco)  3 Il Paradiso (USA) (Galileo) 4 Master Of Reality (IRE) (Frankel).Vow And Declare Craig Williams

Craig Williams was positive from an outside barrier and by the time they made the first turn he was on front before Hugh Bowman took up the running on Twilight Payment (IRE) with Dettori moving up sit outside in second on Master Of Reality (IRE).

The $5,500 Gavelhouse purchase Surprise Baby (Shocking) charged home from near last to claim fifth ahead of Mer De Glace (JPN) who had trouble getting a clear run, Finche (GB) who had every chance and the topweight Cross Counter (IRE).

Last spring Vow And Declare was balloted out of the Victoria Derby before gaining some consolation when winning the Listed TCL TV Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on Oaks Day.

He finished sixth in a competitive Group III Grand Prix Stakes at Eagle Farm on May 25 before a luckless second to Mr Quickie in the Group 1 Queensland Derby and failed to get the decision reversed in the steward's room.

Passed in at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale when offered by Kitchwin Hills and retained to race in a partnership by his breeder Paul Langsky, Vow and Declare advances his record to 4 wins, 3 seconds and 2 thirds from 13 starts with earnings of $5,772,690.

A half-brother to the Listed MRC Galilee Series Final winner Lycurgus, Vow And Declare is the second stakes-winner from the first three foals of the Testa Rossa mare Geblitz, a winner herself in Sydney and Brisbane, who comes from the family of Group I winners Hauraki and Kidnapped.

Geblitz has a yearling filly by Star Witness that will be offered by Widden Stud as agent at the 2020 Magic Milliosn as Lot 329  and on September 19 foaled a filly by Invincible Spirit's dual Group 1 winning son Shalaa (IRE).

The sire of last Saturday’s Group 1 Victoria Derby winner Warning and the Group 1 Queensland Oaks winner Winning Ways, the former Coolmore shuttler Declaration Of War (USA) stood this season at JBBA's Shizunai Stallion Station in Japan. The son of War Front is sure to come under consideration for a recall to Australia.sire On fire Declaration Of War - image Mark Smith

The winner of the 2013 Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes and Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (G1), Declaration Of War finished second in the Coral Eclipse Stakes (G1), and was third in the Sussex Stakes (G1). In his final start he finished third in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Park.

Not surprisingly Declaration Of War’s success has come on the turf, which may not have endeared him to breeders in North America.

After standing his first season at Coolmore Stud in Ireland in 2014, he was transferred to Ashford Stud in Kentucky in 2015.

He is the sire of the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas, G1) winner Olmedo.


Lexus Melbourne Cup Gr1 3200m
Flemington Track: Soft(5) Time: 3:24.76
Vow And Declare
T: D T O'Brien J: Craig Williams 52
4g Declaration Of War (USA) x Geblitzt (AUS) (Testa Rossa (AUS))
Prince Of Arran
T: Charlie Fellowes J: M J Walker 54
7g Shirocco (GER) x Storming Sioux (GB) (Storming Home (GB))
Il Paradiso
T: A O'Brien J: W M Lordan 52.5
4h Galileo (IRE) x Famous (IRE) (Danehill Dancer (IRE))
Master Of Reality
T: Joseph O'Brien J: L Dettori 55.5
5g Frankel (GB) x L'ancresse (IRE) (Darshaan (GB))
Surprise Baby
T: P A Preusker J: Jordan Childs 53.5
5g Shocking (AUS) x Bula Baby (NZ) (Kaapstad (NZ))
Mer De Glace
T: H Shimizu J: Damian Lane 56
5h Rulership (JPN) x Glacier Blue (JPN) (Sunday Silence (USA))
T: C J Waller J: K Mc Evoy 54
6g Frankel (GB) x Binche (USA) (Woodman (USA))
Cross Counter
T: Charlie Appleby J: W Buick 57.5
5g Teofilo (IRE) x Waitress (USA) (Kingmambo (USA))
Steel Prince
T: Anthony Freedman J: B Prebble 52.5
6g Nathaniel (IRE) x Steel Princess (IRE) (Danehill (USA))
Magic Wand
T: A O'Brien J: Ryan Moore 53.5
5m Galileo (IRE) x Prudenzia (IRE) (Dansili (GB))
Twilight Payment
T: Joseph O'Brien J: J Bowman 55
7g Teofilo (IRE) x Dream On Buddy (IRE) (Oasis Dream (GB))
T: M D Moroney J: J Winks 53.5
7h Lando (GER) x Sky Dancing (IRE) (Exit To Nowhere (USA))
T: D & B Hayes & T Dabernig J: J Moreira 52.5
4h Galileo (IRE) x One Moment In Time (IRE) (Danehill (USA))
Mirage Dancer
T: T Busuttin & N Young J: B Melham 55.5
6h Frankel (GB) x Heat Haze (GB) (Green Desert (USA))
Hunting Horn
T: A O'Brien J: J A Heffernan 55
5h Camelot (GB) x Mora Bai (IRE) (Indian Ridge (IRE))
Raymond Tusk
T: R Hannon J: J P Spencer 54
5h High Chaparral (IRE) x Dancing Shoes (IRE) (Danehill (USA))
The Chosen One
T: M Baker & A Forsman J: Tim Clark 52
4h Savabeel (AUS) x The Glitzy One (AUS) (Flying Spur (AUS))
T: Joseph O'Brien J: J B Mc Donald 55
5h Camelot (GB) x Question Times (GB) (Shamardal (USA))
Southern France
T: C Maher & D Eustace J: M Zahra 55.5
5h Galileo (IRE) x Alta Anna (FR) (Anabaa (USA))
T: C J Waller J: Tommy Berry 52
5m High Chaparral (IRE) x Starspangled (IRE) (Danehill (USA))
Inglis Premier Yearling Sale $200,000
V:Bowness Stud, Young, NSW
B: Anton Koolman Bloodstock Pty Ltd
T: D & B Hayes & T Dabernig J: L Nolen 53.5
5g Mastercraftsman (IRE) x Nonsuch Way (IRE) (Verglas (IRE))
T: Joseph O'Brien J: John Allen 53.5
5h Camelot (GB) x Cinnamon Rose (USA) (Trempolino (USA))
T: K A Lees J: D Oliver 55
7g Medicean (GB) x Qelaan (USA) (Dynaformer (USA))
T: D & B Hayes & T Dabernig J: D Dunn 55
5g Frankel (GB) x Tyranny (GB) (Machiavellian (USA))
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