Churchill shows his class to confirm his Classic claims

Churchill: was already favourite for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Churchill shows his class with easy Dewhurst win
By Stuart Riley 3:33PM 8 OCT 2016

Report: Newmarket, Saturday

Dubai Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) 7f, 2yo entire colts and fillies

CHURCHILL had a momentary scare when the gap Ryan Moore was angling for disappeared with two furlongs to run, but once switched to the outside – and with the afterburners applied – he powered clear for a comfortable success.

Stablemate and pacemaker Lancaster Bomber completed a one-two for the Aidan O'Brien yard, mirroring Ballydoyle's dominance of Friday's Fillies' Mile a week after a one-two-three led home by Found in the Arc.

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Churchill went into the Dewhurst at the head of the betting for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas and Investec Derby and his one and a quarter length success saw him harden for Classic glory. Churchill is a best-priced 2-1 for the Guineas, with 8-1 the best available for Epsom.

Moore settled his mount in an ideal position between South Seas and Thunder Snow in the wave of runners behind Lancaster Bomber, as the field came up the stands' side rail. The race looked to be developing nicely for the 8-11 favourite until the pair were forced to switch.

A lesser horse would have had their momentum checked. A slower horse may have struggled to pick up. But Churchill barely broke stride as Moore once again displayed the cool head and supreme judgement that has resulted in him being widely regarded as the world's best jockey. He switched his mount, asked for his effort, and then simply held on as the son of Galileo burst clear – and he was not stopping at the line.

"We were very happy with that and I feel that Churchill learnt a lot today," said O'Brien. "He's a very relaxed horse and doesn't do a lot in front. He has a super mind on him and has plenty of pace so we'll look forward to next year with him.

"It's a team effort and Donnacha rides him out at home. We'll have a chat to the lads but he'll be a nice horse to bring back here next May."

Part-owner Michael Tabor said: "That was very satisfying. He looked to be in a pocket at one time but I knew Ryan had plenty of horse under him. The stands' rail is obviously the place to be which helped Lancaster Bomber run such a great race to finish second."

Blue Point to go back to six furlongs

It looked a vintage Dewhurst beforehand, filled with improving and unexposed types from major operations. But with pacemaker Lancaster Bomber, officially rated 18lb inferior to the winner going into this Group 1, claiming second at 66-1, there have to be some question marks about what Churchill beat.

Blue Point finished third when travelling on the outside of Churchill and jockey William Buick suggested the Godolphin-owned runner would stick to six furlongs next season. "Blue Point has run another good race and we served it up to the winner at one point but he just didn't get home," he said. "At least we found something out today and he'll be a nice horse over six furlongs next year."

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