A classic winner in England and Ireland, Churchill saw his seven-race win streak snapped at Royal Ascot, as he could muster only a fourth-place finish in the St. James's Palace Stakes (G1) where Barney Roy scored his breakthrough top-level victory.
Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier's Churchill, a Galileo colt out of the Storm Cat mare Meow, has not raced since Royal Ascot. Trainer Aidan O'Brien hopes the four-time group 1 winner will have a bit more to give in his rematch in the north.
Barney Roy, an Excelebration colt out of the Galileo mare Alina, is trained by Richard Hannon for Godolphin. He won two of three starts coming into the Royal Ascot event but the joy of that victory was somewhat blunted when he came up a nose short to 4-year-old Ulysses in the Coral Eclipse Stakes (G1) at Sandown just three weeks later in his first try against older rivals.
"I think York will suit Barney Roy because it is flat and the course will give him plenty of time to get going with his long stride," Hannon said. "I'd love it if he was the type to go and win by four lengths, but he's not that sort of colt. He always makes it look like he's struggling but the quicker they go, the quicker he goes. He keeps finding, and is probably the best horse I've trained."
Ulysses is back for another bite of the apple in the Juddmonte, too. He followed up the Coral Eclipse triumph with a second-place finish behind current Longines World's Best Racehorse ratings top-ranked 3-year-old filly Enable in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) at Ascot July 29. Ulysses is a 4-year-old son of Galileo from the Kingmambo mare Light Shift. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, he races in the Flaxman Stables colors.
Also in the seven-horse field for the 1 5/16-mile Juddmonte are Churchill's stablemate, Cliffs Of Moher, Shutter Speed, Decorated Knight, and My Dream Boat. The going is forecast as good to firm for the first day of the meeting. The Juddmonte International is part of the British Champions Series and is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race to the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T).