Thursday 30 March 2017

Ascot hero Churchill looks set to rule at Leopardstown

Ryan Moore: partners Churchill. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Ryan Moore: partners Churchill. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Royal Ascot winner and Investec Derby favourite Churchill is the star name in a six-runner field for the Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.

Following a promising debut third at the Curragh, Aidan O'Brien's juvenile was considered one of the bankers of the week at last month's showpiece meeting and did not disappoint, with an assured Chesham Stakes success that saw him move to the head of ante-post lists for next year's Epsom Classic.

Supplement

The Galileo colt will likely be a hot favourite to supplement that win at Leopardstown in a Group Three contest O'Brien has won with the likes of King Of Kings (1997), Rip Van Winkle (2008) and Gleneagles (2014).

Churchill's rivals include Dermot Weld's Currency Converter, an impressive winner over the course and distance on his introduction and the Tommy Stack-trained Alexios Komnenos.

The latter was a 50/1 winner at the Curragh last month and connections are hoping he can prove up to Pattern level.

The trainer's son and assistant, Fozzy Stack, said: "It's looks a tough renewal and a deep race, but our horse is in good form and is entitled to take his chance."

Ger Lyons runs King Electric, which was fourth behind stablemate Medicine Jack in the Railway Stakes last time.

Joseph O'Brien's Eagle Spirit and Ready To Roc from Johnny Murtagh's yard complete the line-up.

Aidan and Joseph O'Brien both field once-raced maiden winners in the Silver Flash Stakes.

Aidan O'Brien, who has saddled a record eight previous winners of the Group Three contest, relies on Tipperary scorer Promise To Be True.

Joseph, who was aboard Maybe in 2011 and Wonderfully in 2013, runs Intricately, which made an impressive start to her career at Gowran Park and will be ridden by the fledgling trainer's brother Donnacha O'Brien.

Jessica Harrington is represented by Naas victor Drumfad Bay, while the filly with arguably the strongest form in the book is Ken Condon's Elusive Beauty.

Attempt

The daughter of Elusive Pimpernel has raised her game with each start, winning at the third attempt at Fairyhouse before finishing a close third behind O'Brien's subsequent Duchess of Cambridge Stakes winner Roly Poly in the Grangecon Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

"The filly looks great and has exceeded our expectations, to be honest," said Condon.

Elsewhere, Postponed has been ruled out of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday due to a respiratory infection, while dual Derby winner Harzand does not feature amongst the 42 entries for the St Leger at Doncaster on September 10, with the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe his primary objective for the second half of the campaign.

Irish Independent

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