Churchill – Don’t believe the hype
Ben Linfoot isn't as convinced as the bookmakers are about Churchill's credentials for the Qipco 2000 Guineas.
Churchill: Won the National Stakes but very short in the Guineas betting
Perhaps I'm not seeing something that everyone else is seeing but Churchill looks one of the worst ante-post bets I've noticed in a while at prices ranging from 2/1 (2/1!) to 4/1 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas.
He might've won his first Group One by over four lengths at the Curragh on Sunday, but the runner-up, Mehmas, is at his best over six furlongs on fast ground and seven on yielding simply didn't play to his strengths.
And Mehmas is arguably the first good horse Churchill has beaten.
The son of Galileo rose to prominence when winning the Chesham Stakes on his second start at Royal Ascot, but that is a race restricted to horses whose sires won over a mile-and-a-quarter and further and it's a contest that doesn't produce Classic winners.
Any winner of the Chesham is likely to have beaten slow, late-maturing horses and this year's renewal looks particularly average with just two winners coming from those that finished in behind Churchill from 23 goes – and one of those was a 1/5 shot in a maiden.
Only one horse that Churchill beat in his next race, the Tyros Stakes, has run since and Ready To Roc finished last at Navan. His Futurity form is no better with the runner-up, Radio Silence, finishing last at Leopardstown on Saturday.
Of course Aidan O'Brien came out on Sunday and said 'he's very exciting, he has a lot of speed, we always thought he was a Guineas horse' but he wouldn't say anything else after winning the National Stakes as the hype machine begins.
The bottom line is the races Churchill has been winning have been weak contests and he hasn't been very impressive in winning them.
One firm is as short as 2/1 about Churchill for the Guineas and that's plainly ridiculous, but even at double those odds he makes zero appeal.