'Lazy' Churchill spearheads 69 Guineas entries
Aidan O'Brien is happy with hot Qipco 2000 Guineas favourite Churchill, which is among the 69 entries for the race at Newmarket on May 6.
The Dewhurst Stakes winner is one of 11 possibles trained by O'Brien, who has already taken the Rowley Mile Classic seven times. He is no better than 6/4 to win the first Classic of the year.
The Ballydoyle maestro admits he has no idea how many he will run at Newmarket but reports everything to have gone well with Churchill, which is by the sire of sires, Galileo.
"No problems with him - so far so good and we've been happy with him," O'Brien told the Irish Independent. "He has done well over the winter, everything has going according to plan.
"He has always been very natural from day one. He's a big, powerful relaxed horse who will find plenty for pressure.
"I guess you could say he has a little bit of a lazy way of racing; the mile shouldn't be a problem."
Among other candidates from O'Brien's yard are unbeaten Phoenix Stakes victor Caravaggio and War Decree, winner of the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
The Criterium International and UAE 2000 Guineas winner Thunder Snow tops six from trainer Saeed bin Suroor, while Racing Post Trophy scorer Rivet is a strong entry from the William Haggas stable.
National Defense, easy winner of the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Chantilly in October, is one of four French entries for the Newmarket contest.