Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 27 June 2017

The Punter's Platform discuss Churchill's chances of making the Derby

11 September 2016; Churchill, with Ryan Moore up, on their way to winning 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
11 September 2016; Churchill, with Ryan Moore up, on their way to winning 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
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The Herald's racing correspondent Niall Cronin has backed Aidan O'Brien's Churchill to make it for next month's Epsom Derby despite a lot of skepticism as to whether or not the three-year-old can make the mile-and-a-half required.

The Michael Tabor owned horse won at Newmarket last Saturday but there are concerns over his credentials for the Derby despite O'Brien's confidence.

The Punter's Platfrom's host Johnny Ward wrote in his column on Independent.ie earlier this week that he spoke to other horse racing correspondents in the Leopardstown press-room last weekend, with a general consensus forming that Churchill would be unlikely to stay for a Derby trip.

Cronin, however, contests this theory.

"He just pulls it out," Cronin said of Churchill.

"He just does enough. I know people are maybe fed up, and if he was trained by someone else and he won a guineas and there was a bit of hype around him, maybe people would be buying it a bit more, but we do hear an awful lot about Ballydoyle horses that they're this, that they're that, that they can do anything, but I just think this horse - he switches off, he hits his flat spot, he picks up and he does what he has to do to.

"See The Stars never won by anymore than a length-and-a-half. He just always did enough, he tanked a bit early in some of his races but like Ballydoyle did everything that year to get him beat, in terms of running four or five against him, crowding him out, but he was just far too good."

Ward said that he fancied Cliffs of Moher prior to the Derrinstown stakes, however, he said he's also wary of Sir John Lavery ahead of the Derby.

You can listen to the full discussion on next month's derby and all of the other tips for this weekend below. You can also subscribe to the The Punter's Platform on iTunes.

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