LAST season's champion European two-year-old Air Force Blue has been retired and will stand at Coolmore America's Ashford Stud in Kentucky.

Described by Aidan O'Brien as the best juvenile he has ever trained, the son of War Front had an outstanding first season winning three Group 1 races, culminating in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. On the strength of his top-class form as a youngster he was sent off at odds-on for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket but was well-beaten and he also proved disappointing in his three subsequent starts.

"With the exception of Frankel, who has made such a brilliant start to his stud career, Air Force Blue is Timeform's highest-rated juvenile in nearly 20 years. In fact, he's the highest-rated juvenile ever from the Danzig line," Ashford Stud manager Dermot Ryan told

"He was a very racy sort with plenty of size and scope and a great action. He proved himself to be a brilliant two-year-old and it's great to see War Front now heading the leading 2YO sires table.

"Aidan O'Brien already has four group-winning juveniles by him this year, including the 1-2 in last weekend's Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes. We're absolutely thrilled his best two-year-old son is coming to Ashford."