CHAMPION trainer Aidan O’Brien saddled his 20th Group One winner of 2016 when Churchill posted a narrow victory in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes over 1400m at Newmarket, Saturday.
The 4-6 favourite, ridden by Ryan Moore, produced a late charge to beat 66-1 stablemate Lancaster Bomber and win the major two-year-old prize of the autumn.
Churchill is the early favourite to star in 2017 in both the 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby.
Lancaster Bomber, ridden by Colm O’Donoghue, set the early pace in the seven-strong field with Churchill held up in mid-division by Moore until the final two furlongs.
Moore negotiated traffic and drove Churchill out wide and the colt looked to have plenty left in the tank as he finished strongly to notch a fifth consecutive victory.
Irish trainer O’Brien, who saddled the first three past the post in last Sunday’s Prix d l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly, believes that Churchill has much more to come. “He is very special this horse. I’m very happy with the performance, he settled into the pace and he learned a lot today. It got a little bit messy and Ryan guided him through lovely.
“He’s a physically imposing horse and a great mind, relaxes and does the minimum. There’s tons left up his sleeve. The quality is there in abundance.”
-extracts from BBC Sport.