Upping the ante
Within a week of Punchestown's conclusion, we have the season's first Flat Classic in the shape of Saturday's Qicpo 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.
For several months, Churchill has been favourite for this. He was the best two-year-old around in these parts, winning all starts apart from his debut, including two Group Ones, and his lazy way of running makes it hard to quantify how good he may be.
Aidan O'Brien tends not to get wrapped up in hype before races, yet he recently described how Churchill was doing "unbelievably well". He goes to the track without a prep but such has been the norm for Ballydoyle's Guineas fancies for many years now.
Churchill will likely be ridden in a prominent position and if he can travel within himself, it is difficult to see anything having the stamina to beat him.
Barney Roy has only won a Group Three, with the French raider Al Wukair feared more. Eminent also comes into it, but Churchill makes most appeal, having drifted a little in the market. BET: Churchill in 2000 Guineas, 2pts win 15/8
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