Ballydoyle’s champion two-year-old last season, Churchill, made a spectacular return to the racetrack by running out a comprehensive winner of the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Flat racing’s headquarters.
Yet another son of Galileo, three-time champion jockey Ryan Moore positioned the colt just in behind the leaders early on, one of which was stable mate Lancaster Bomber.
As the pace was wound up into the final three furlongs, Churchill began to make his challenge towards the stands side.
He hit the front a furlong out and although hotly pursued towards the centre by the likes of Godolphin’s Barney Roy and French challenger Al Wukair, held them at bay by a comfortable length at the winning post.
For Moore, he follows up his only other success in the race achieved two years ago on Gleneagles for the same connections.
“He’s such a lovely horse, he’s never going to be ultra-impressive but he gives you a feel with so much power there,” reflected Moore.
“I think he has everything you need in a racehorse. He travels, he’s got speed, loads of class and is the most beautiful horse to sit on. When I saw him in the paddock I was happy and when I got on him I was even happier.”
In a race which he has coveted in the last few decades, O’Brien notches a record eighth win in the prestigious Classic.
The maestro’s first success in the race came in 1998 with King Of Kings, who was ridden by Mick Kinane.
O’Brien said: “I was very worried about him first time, he’s a big horse and we knew that he would come on a good bit from the ride.
I think he has everything you need in a racehorse
“Donnacha [O’Brien] rides him every day at home and was delighted with him. Everyone was very happy and when your listening to everyone and everyone is happy to come you’re happy to take the chance.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Seventh Heaven regained the winning thread with an impressive victory in the Group 2 Dunaden Jockey Club Stakes.
Heroine of last year’s Yorkshire Oaks, the daughter of Galileo took command entering the final furlong and stayed on nicely, beating the runner-up One Foot In Heaven by five lengths.