O’Brien looks to the Futurity with Churchill
Royal Ascot hero and leading Classic hope Churchill is set to return to action in the Galileo European Breeders Fund Futurity Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.
Aidan O'Brien's exciting colt had to make do with minor honours on his racecourse debut in May, but was a heavily backed winner of the Chesham Stakes in Berkshire and followed up in last month's Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown.
Churchill is second only to esteemed stable companion Caravaggio in ante-post lists for next season's 2000 Guineas and will bid to become the latest Ballydoyle superstar to win the Futurity, with the likes of Giant's Causeway (1999) and Hawk Wing (2001) among those on the roll of honour.
O'Brien said: "Churchill seems to be in good form after Leopardstown and he is the main one in the Futurity Stakes and we will decide later in the week what else will run with him."
The trainer is responsible for seven of the 12 entries for the seven-furlong Group Two, with Vintage Stakes winner War Decree, Anglesey Stakes victor Peace Envoy and Capri in contention.
Joseph O'Brien could saddle course and distance winner Arcada, while Radio Silence is a potential runner for Jim Bolger.
The other prestigious juvenile prize on offer on a bumper eight-race card is Breast Cancer Research Debutante Stakes.
O'Brien won this event for a record 10th time when Ballydoyle triumphed 12 months ago and has five possible contenders this year, although the high-class Roly Poly appears unlikely to line up having been declared for Thursday's Lowther Stakes at York.
Albany heroine Brave Anna, Hydrangea, Promise To Be True and Rhododendron make up the team.
"In the Debutante Stakes, Rhododendron is a possible to go there, as is Hydrangea, who won at the Curragh last time," said O'Brien.
"We might have something else to run as well but we will take a look closer to the weekend."
Other entries in a 21-strong field include Magical Fire – who is also declared for the Lowther – Mick Halford's course scorer Rehana and Ralph Beckett's potential British challenger Bletchley.