There seems to be little doubt that Galileo has a stranglehold on the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (G1) as a sire. For the last three years, one of his sons has proved best in the first of the English classics.
Gleneagles took the 2015 edition and Galileo Gold won the following year. And the meteoric Frankel's undefeated record included the 2011 version. The latest victor is the Coolmore/Ballydoyle star Churchill, who took the May 6 running by a length as the 6-4 favorite.
Nine other 3-year-olds met the challenge laid down by Churchill, who last year established his favoritism for the one-mile Guineas by winning five seven-furlong stakes and a Cartier Award as the champion 2-year-old male.
Although Churchill was making his 2017 debut with familiar partner Ryan Moore in the saddle, trainer Aidan O'Brien had him in fine fettle. Churchill's Ballydoyle stablemate, the Kentucky-bred Lancaster Bomber (War Front ), led from the spring of the gates and set a relaxed pace, tracked by Churchill.
After moving to the rail two furlongs from the finish, Moore gave Churchill his cue, and the handsome bay wrested the lead from his stablemate. From there it was all Churchill, who won by a length in 1:36.61.
Churchill's victory was O'Brien's eighth in the Two Thousand Guineas.
Second was recent Godolphin purchase and JLT Greenham Stakes (G3) winner Barney Roy (Excelebration), who did not have the best of trips, stumbling and losing his action on the downhill portion of the course. Ridden by James Doyle and trained by Richard Hannon, he gamely finished second, a neck ahead of Prix Djebel (G3) winner Al Wukair (Dream Ahead), trained by Andre Fabre. Lancaster Bomber held on for fourth.
Churchill is the second foal from the stakes-winning Storm Cat mare Meow, who was runner-up in the Queen Mary Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot. He is also the second Two Thousand Guineas winner bred on the Galileo/Storm Cat cross, following Gleneagles.
The cross of Galileo with Storm Cat mares has produced a high percentage of black-type stakes winners and high-class horses. From 49 foals, 3-year-olds and up, there are currently 10 black-type stakes winners (20.4%). Of these 10, six are grade/group 1 winners: Ballydoyle, Churchill, Decorated Knight, Gleneagles, Marvellous, and Misty For Me.
Churchill was Galileo's second winner on the Newmarket card. Earlier, his 4-year-old daughter Seventh Heaven, out of a Storm Cat-line (Johannesburg) mare, won the 12-furlong Dunaden Jockey Club Stakes (G2) by five lengths over One Foot in Heaven. Also ridden by Moore for the Coolmore/Ballydoyle contingent, Seventh Heaven is a daughter of La Traviata, who won the Victory Ride Stakes (G3) at Saratoga Race Course for Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith.
Newmarket's five-furlong Longholes Palace House Stakes went to Marsha, a 4-year-old filly by Acclamation (Royal Applause) out of the Marju mare Marlinka. A homebred for Elite Racing Club, trained by Mark Prescott, Marsha defeated Washington DC (Fastnet Rock) by a neck with Goldream a length farther back.
Galileo's son Teofilo was responsible for the winner of Newmarket's final stakes on the Saturday card. Permian, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, took the 10-furlong Havana Gold Newmarket Stakes for trainer Mark Johnston. Bred by Darley, 3-year-old Permian is out of the Mark of Esteem mare Tessa Reef.
Coincidentally, on the day's Goodwood card, the listed Betfred TV EBF Daisy Warwick Stakes was won by Ajman Princess, who is bred on the same Teofilo/Mark of Esteem cross.