Churchill completes double for O’Brien

aidan o'brien churchill curragh 2,000 Guineas double
27 May 2017; Trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore after sending out Churchill to win the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival at The Curragh, Co Kildare. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Churchill completed the 2,000 Guineas double for trainer Aidan O’Brien by following up his success at Newmarket three weeks ago with victory at the Curragh in the Irish equivalent.

Jockey Ryan Moore eased the 4-9 favourite Churchill to the front with more than a furlong to go to win by two and a half lengths, with Thunder Show in second and Irishcorrespondent third.

Churchill is just the ninth horse to complete the Newmarket/Curragh 2,000 Guineas double and O’Brien may now target the Galileo colt Churchill at the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“The [soft] ground was a concern, but Donnacha (O’Brien) rides him in all his work and he said it’d be no problem, so that gave us great confidence to keep going,” said O’Brien.

“Coming here we were thinking we’d go from here to Ascot and he’ll probably go for the St James’s Palace Stakes.

Relaxed and chilled

“He’d have no problem stepping up to 10 furlongs later in the year. He’s so relaxed and chilled.”

Jockey Ryan Moore, added: He wasn’t enjoying the ground so I tried to help him along. But when I asked him he was there. I have always rated him.”

Churchill was given a good lead by Ballydoyle stable companions Lancaster Bomber and Spirit Of Valor gave him a nice lead. Godolphin’s Thunder Snow tried to stay with Churchill but he eased away under Moore to a comfortable victory.

aidan o'brien churchill curragh 2,000 Guineas double
28 May 2017; Jockey Ryan Moore with trainer Aidan O’Brien after winning Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas on Winter at Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival at The Curragh, Co Kildare. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

There was another double for O’Brien at the Curragh as filly Winter, with Moore again in the saddle, completed the double in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Having beaten stable Rhododendron to win the 1,000 Guineas over the Rowley Mile three weeks ago, Winter was 8-13 to complete the double.

The Mick Halford-trained Rehana took on the lead under jockey Pat Smullen, before Winter raced away from the field with plenty in the tank.

Roly Poly and Hydrangea finished second and third respectively to make it a one-two-three for O’Brien, who was winning the race for a seventh time.

Lovely ride

Moore said: “It was very easy. She gave me a lovely ride and it was very straightforward. She travelled and took me into the race without me asking her a thing and I couldn’t be more impressed by her today.

“She was relentless and kept building all the way to the line. It rode like a piece of work.

“You’d have to say she’s stepped forward with each of her runs and the way she felt today, I can’t see any reason why she won’t carry on progressing.

“I think the mile is fine, she’d probably get a little bit longer, but she’s a fast filly.”

O’Brien, though, had to settle for second (Somehow) and third (Deauville) in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh, as British challenger Decorated Knight victory. Somehow produced a late charge, but Decorated Knight held on.

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