Is Churchill the banker of Royal Ascot?
Aidan O’Brien’s superstar the short priced fav for Tuesday’s feature
Tuesday is the first day of the illustrious Royal Ascot meeting, where even Her Majesty The Queen finds the time to attend, accompanied by her hundred-strong procession of course.
The feature race on day one is the St James’s Palace Stakes, where Churchill is strongly fancied to win for top trainer Aidan O’Brien. Below, we preview the race ask the question – is Churchill the banker of the entire Royal Ascot meeting?
Standout form in the field
Of the eight runners expected to line up for this race, Churchill’s form stands out on numbers alone, winning seven of his eight career races. That one defeat being on his debut last May, we’ll forgive him for that. Things swing even more in his favour when you delve further into that form, though.
Of his seven career wins to date, the last four have come in Group 1 company, more than any other horse in the race. The most recent of those victories was a very satisfying Irish 2,000 Guineas win, where he stretched away from the re-opposing Thunder Snow in such a fashion as to suggest he always had the beating of the Godolphin colt. You can watch that race below:
One thing backers should note, Churchill is not a flashy horse. He does win his races, but he does just enough in doing so, something that could leave favourites backers with their hearts in their mouths coming into the final furlong on Tuesday.
Barney Roy most likely to cause upset
Churchill has the measure of the field on form, but if there’s one in there that could cause an upset, it’s Barney Roy.
The lightly raced Godolphin colt made his debut at Haydock in September and was a surprise 9/1 winner that day. He was then put away and wasn’t seen again until April, where he showed serious ability to take the Group 3 Greenham at Newbury.
In just his third career start, he was lining up for the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, clearly showing how highly connections rate him. He put in a strong performance and despite losing out to Churchill that day, he ran the favourite close, eventually losing out by just a length as his more experienced rival looked to find more under pressure.
He appeared to struggle with the undulations at HQ that day, looking like he stumbled running downhill in the final couple of furlongs. If undulations are an issue for him, he may find it too much of a task at Ascot, but if he comes on from that experience, he may have enough to push Churchill even closer on the run in.
Whoever you think will win the St James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot this Tuesday, make sure you head over to Coral to get your bets on for the big race!
If you don’t have a Coral account, why not sign up and get a MASSIVE 25/1 for Churchill to win by clicking here?