Galileo's Churchill Too Strong in 2000 Guineas
Mark Smith - Sunday, 7 May 2017

Memories of the Air Express filly Airwave running on into second place behind Choisir in the Group I Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot came flooding back when Galileo colt Churchill gave trainer Aidan O'Brien a record-breaking eighth victory in the Group I 2000 Guineas (1 mile) at Newmarket on Saturday.

Churchill is a grandson of Airwave whose wins included the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes and Group II Temple Stakes.

She was behind Choisir again in the Group I July Cup when both had to bow to Oasis Dream.

Retired to the breeding barn, Airwave has three stakes winners among her four winners.

One was Churchill's three-quarter brother Oratror (IRE) a stakes winner in France who proved hugely disappointing in Australia.

The best of Airwave's runners has been the Group III winner Aloof, also a daughter of Galileo, while the Storm Cat filly Meow was a black-type winner in Ireland and was runner-up in the Group II Queen Mary Stakes.

Meow is the dam of Churchill and she has a two-year-old filly by Galileo named Clemmie and a yearling colt by Galileo. She was covered by Coolmore's champion stallion again last season.

With Ryan Moore in the saddle Churchill kept up a solid gallop down the stands side rail to defeat Barney Roy (Excelebration) by a length with Al Wukair (Dream Ahead) a neck away third. (photo Newmarket Racecourse).

Ryan Moore told ITV Racing: "He's such a lovely horse. He has a magnificent mind. I think he has everything you want in a racehorse - he travels, has speed and loads of class.

"He was always racing comfortably - he was there a little bit early. He always feels like there's more when you ask him."

Aidan O'Brien said: "I was very worried about it being his first run. He's a big horse and we knew he would come on for the run. Ryan gave him a lovely ride.

"Everyone at home was very happy with the horse which is why we took the chance to come first time, so I'm delighted.

"We always thought he was a horse with a lot of speed. Ryan was very happy to be handy. The pace was sensible and Ryan knew Donnacha's (O'Brien) horse (Lancaster Bomber) would take him there.

"The lads (owners) will decide about the Derby themselves. They make all the decisions about all the horses.

"He is very relaxed and will probably get as far as you want him to get - he has speed as well, but he has a very relaxed way of racing. He is by Galileo and horses by that sire very rarely lack stamina."

It was the third 2000 Guineas for Galileo (photo Mark Smith) after Frankel and Gleneagles.

Galileo is also sire of the dams of Night Of Thunder (2014) and Galileo Gold (2016) as well as Saturday's runner-up Barney Roy. 

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