Churchill ready for 2000 Guineas quest

Leading trainer Aidan O’Brien is ‘very happy’ ante-post favourite Churchill ahead of the opening classic of the flat season on Saturday at Newmarket.

Last season’s Dewhurst winner is all the rage for the first domestic Classic season, but will be having his first start for 210 days.

O’Brien, though, believes the Galileo colt will be fit enough to do himself justice.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “He seems to be fine. Everything has gone well.

“He was a very mature two-year-old, big and strong with plenty of scope. I’ve been very happy with him over the winter

“We think he is well ready to start. I’m very happy with him at the moment.”

Churchill has not yet raced beyond seven furlongs and still holds an entry in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

When asked what will be the champion two-year-old’s best trip this season, O’Brien said: “I’m not sure. The Guineas should be no problem.

“He travels very smoothly through his races and has a lot of pace.”


Churrchill is currently 11/8 short price favourite to take the honours on Saturday.

The Richard Hannon trained Barney Roy is Churchill’s nearest rival in the betting at 7/2 with Al Wukair next in the market at 4/1. Martyn Meade’s Eminent, who was an impressive winner of the Craven Stakes over the course and distance last month, is priced at 9/2.

It’s then 16/1 about the Saeed bin Suroor trained Dream Castle with Lancaster Bomber and Larchmont Lad both priced at 33/1.

Spirit of Valor is currently 40/1 with Top Score and Law And Order making up the ten runner field at 50/1 and 66/1.

Liam Glynn, BoyleSports spokesperson said: “Saturday’s race is a one horse book with punters continuing to get stuck into Aidan O’Brien’s Churchill.

“Our traders are expecting the son of Galileo to go off shorter come race day judging by the weighted support for the National Stakes and Dewhurst winner over the past 48 hours.”

“This year’s 2000 Guineas field is the smallest field we have seen declared since nine runners went to post back in 1988, but despite ten runners in this year’s race it’s all one way traffic for Churchill as he bids to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a record 8th victory in the race.”

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