Aiden O’Brien continued his dominance of the flat scene with an Irish and English Guineas double-double over the weekend. Churchill and Winter were resounding winners at the Curragh and showed just how far ahead the Coolmore empire is ahead of it’s competitors, not just in Ireland but in the UK too. Whether it’s good for racing or not is another matter, but we can all agree you can’t begrudge AOB the way he handles himself and the success he earns.
We’ve already touched on Churchill’s 2000 Guineas win, but it was stablemate Winter that was perhaps arguably more impressive in the 1000 Guineas with the element of heading into the unknown a big factor. Although strong odds-on, she had more doubts to answer to, but quickly silenced any debate that her win at Newmarket was fortuitous or even a fluke. The race panned out perfectly for her and rounding the bend there was only one winner. Even Ryan Moore was visibly impressed… She’ll definitely get further in time but the Coronation Stakes looks her next assignment and only stablemate Rhododendron looks up to forming any sort of competition, and you think she’d go elsewhere.
Windsor 3.30 – Evergate (R Cowell) 5/1
The ground has changed from Good To Firm to Good To Soft overnight, which has slightly dampened my confidence behind Robert Cowell’s winter acquisition; but I’m sticking with the 3YO. Admittedly he’s only ever won once (at Windsor) and his form at the end of his juvenile campaign was poor, probably convincing Hugo Palmer to let him go. But he’s shown plenty of promise for his new connections. I backed him at Bath where I thought he’d win, but it was at Chester he showed his best form yet. The 5F was just too sharp at Chester and the winner has trumped the form hugely since the win. 5F at Windsor should suit better and I’m confident he’s steadily improving. It’s a competitive race and all seven a case can be made for, although the favourite seems too short with a lot to prove in conditions and on handicap debut.