Sport Horse Racing

Monday 26 September 2016

Churchill raises his profile further with command display in the Group One National Stakes

Published 11/09/2016 | 16:53

Churchill, with Ryan Moore up, cross the line to win The Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes during the Irish Champion Stakes the Irish Champion Stakes at The Curragh in Co. Kildare. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Churchill, with Ryan Moore up, cross the line to win The Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes during the Irish Champion Stakes the Irish Champion Stakes at The Curragh in Co. Kildare. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Churchill further enhanced his already huge reputation with an impressive victory in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.

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Beaten on his debut before landing the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, Aidan O'Brien's juvenile had since landed the Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown and the Futurity Stakes over this course and distance.

Sent off the 4-5 favourite for his Group One debut, the Galileo colt was always travelling powerfully in the hands of Ryan Moore as stable companion Lancaster Bomber played a pacemaking role.

Churchill made his move heading inside the last two furlongs and was swiftly followed by the Richard Hannon-trained Mehmas, the mount of Frankie Dettori.

The market principals settled down to fight it out, but it did not take long for Churchill to assert and he passed the post four and a quarter lengths to the good.

Mehmas, winner of the July Stakes at Newmarket and the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood over six furlongs, did not see out the seven furlongs as well, but just held on to second from fellow British challenger Lockheed, trained by William Haggas.

Paddy Power make Churchill their 5-2 favourite (from 6-1) for next year's 2000 Guineas and 6-1 favourite (from 20-1) for the Investec Derby at Epsom. He is 7-2 for the Guineas with William Hill and RaceBets.

Moore said: "He's a very exciting colt. He's done nothing wrong his whole life and I'm sure there'll be plenty more to come from him in the future. He has plenty of pace.

"Mehmas has won two Group Twos over six and when he came to me he found plenty.

"I think he has a big future."

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