Churchill edges O’Brien closer to Frankel record

Churchill continued his winning spree with an authoritative success in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, in turn edging Aidan O’Brien closer to the record number of Grade 1 winners in a year set by legendary trainer Bobby Frankel.

O’Brien’s star juvenile lined up on the Rowley Mile having won each of his four starts since suffering defeat on his debut, progressing from the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot to last month’s National Stakes at the Curragh.

He was unsurprisingly all the rage to claim his second Group One success as the 8-11 favourite and was settled in midfield by Ryan Moore as his stable companion Lancaster Bomber set the pace.

There was a brief moment of worry for odds-on backers as Moore started to get lower in the saddle over a furlong out and then had to switch wide.

However, once in the clear, Churchill found an extra gear and powered to the line to score by a length and a quarter.

The 66-1 shot Lancaster Bomber rallied admirably to fill the runner-up spot and provide O’Brien with a one-two.

O’Brien is now only five off Frankel’s record of 25, after Rhododendron also won the Dubai Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket on Friday.

Moore said: “He was always going to win. He’s a very, very good colt. It wasn’t as evenly-run as it should have been, but this lad has got an awful lot in his favour.

“There’s not a lot he can’t do. When I ask him, he always finds. He’s definitely a Guineas horse. I think he’ll get better. He’s one to look forward to.”

In winning at Newmarket today, Churchill provided O’Brien with his 20th top-level Flat success of 2016.

O’Brien’s Group/Grade 1 winners in 2016

1. Minding (1000 Guineas, Newmarket, May 1)
2. The Gurkha (French 2000 Guineas, Deauville, May 15)
3. Minding (Oaks, Epsom, June 3)
4. Order Of St George (Gold Cup, Royal Ascot, June 16)
5. Minding (Pretty Polly Stakes, Curragh, June 26)
6. Alice Springs (Falmouth Stakes, Newmarket, July 8)
7. Deauville (Belmont Derby, Belmont Park, July 9)
8. Seventh Heaven (Irish Oaks, Curragh, July 16)
9. Highland Reel (King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ascot, July 23)
10. The Gurkha (Sussex Stakes, Goodwood, July 27)
11. Minding (Nassau Stakes, Goodwood, July 30)
12. Caravaggio (Phoenix Stakes, Curragh, August 7)
13. Seventh Heaven (Yorkshire Oaks, York, August 18)
14. Alice Springs (Matron Stakes, Leopardstown, September 10)
15. Churchill (National Stakes, Curragh, September 11)
16. Brave Anna (Cheveley Park Stakes, Newmarket, September 24)
17. Alice Springs (Sun Chariot Stakes, Newmarket, October 1)
18. Found (Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Chantilly, October 2)
19. Rhododendron (Fillies’ Mile, Newmarket, October 7)
20. Churchill (Dewhurst Stakes, Newmarket, October 8)

Read More at RTÉ Racing

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