Churchill was an impressive winner of yesterday’s 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The result was never in doubt from the moment the runners reached the cutaway and Churchill got the run up the fence. But where will he run next?
As usual, the owners and trainer didn’t commit to anything when asked for Churchill’s future plans. In today’s Racing Post, James Burn suggests they should run him in the Derby, for which he is currently favourite. But surely that’s unlikely. Why not keep Churchill to a mile? The Irish 2,000 Guineas and the James’s Palace Stakes are the next obvious steps, although Coolmore have other options for the Irish Guineas.
Today’s Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial gave few clues, but the runner-up, Yucatan, may prove the best of the first three, who are all trained by Aidan O’Brien. Much depends on how the Classic trials go this week and next week. Coolmore have six entries for both Thursday’s Chester Vase and Friday’s Dee Stakes. Furthermore, there’s the Lingfield trial and York the following week. The Derby picture should be clearer after that, particularly as John Gosden tends to run his best Derby prospect in the Dante Stakes.
From Churchill to Churchill Downs where Always Dreaming won the Kentucky Derby. Unlike Churchill, Always Dreaming’s connections know exactly where he’ll go next: the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in two weeks’ time. He will probably win there. However, he is by no means a good thing for the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown. The winner and the third, Battle Of Midway, were always prominent. Classic Empire lost his chance when bumped at the start and did well to finish fourth. However, watch the race again and look out for the runner-up Lookin At Lee. He gets an amazing run along the rails from way back. Shades of Calvin Borel from Lookin At Lee’s jockey, Corey Lanerie.