Sunday 20 August 2017

Churchill holds on to take thrilling 2,000 Guineas win for Aidan O'Brien

NEWMARKET, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Ryan Moore riding Churchill (R) to win The Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse on May 6, 2017 in Newmarket, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
NEWMARKET, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Ryan Moore riding Churchill (R) to win The Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse on May 6, 2017 in Newmarket, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Graham Clark

Churchill gave Aidan O'Brien a record eighth win in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket when coming out on top in the first Classic of the season.

Last season's champion two-year-old showed he had trained on with a top-class performance under a confident ride from Ryan Moore, who had the 6-4 favourite perfectly placed throughout.

Moore managed to grab the rail at a crucial time after a steady pace had been set by Law and Order, Lancaster Bomber and Spirit Of Valor.

Churchill's turn of foot proved decisive as he got first run on his main rivals and won by a length from Barney Roy (7-2) with Al Wukair (11-2) a neck away in third.

Moore told ITV Racing: "He's such a lovely horse.

"He has a magnificent mind. I think he has everything you want in a racehorse - he travels, has speed and loads of class.

"He was always racing comfortably - he was there a little bit early.

"He always feels like there's more when you ask him."

O'Brien said: "I was very worried about it being his first run. He's a big horse and we knew he would come on for the run. Ryan gave him a lovely ride.

"Everyone at home was very happy with the horse which is why we took the chance to come first time, so I'm delighted.

"We always thought he was a horse with a lot of speed. Ryan was very happy to be handy. The pace was sensible and Ryan knew Donnacha's (O'Brien) horse (Lancaster Bomber) would take him there.

"The lads (owners) will decide about the Derby themselves. They make all the decisions about all the horses.

"He is very relaxed and will probably get as far as you want him to get - he has speed as well, but he has a very relaxed way of racing. He is by Galileo and horses by that sire very rarely lack stamina."

Result

1 Churchill (R L Moore) 6-4 Fav

2 Barney Roy (James Doyle) 7-2

3 Al Wukair (Gregory Benoist) 11-2

(© Independent News Service)

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