Racing

Winter beats stablemate in English 1000 Guineas

Trainer Aidan O'Brien completes Guineas double, as he also takes the 2000 Guineas with Churchill

Irish training legend Aidan O'Brien recorded his third English Guineas double on Sunday as WINTER won the 1000 Guineas, beating stablemate and favourite Rhododendron at Newmarket.

Winter, who rounded off the weekend perfectly for O'Brien after CHURCHILL justified favouritism on Saturday in the 2000 Guineas, received a superb ride from Wayne Lordan to win at 9-1.

Jockey Ryan Moore delivered Rhododendron with her challenge in the final 200m after meeting interference but, while she ate up the ground, she fell short by two lengths.

The highly-fancied English filly Daban, trained by John Gosden, was third, a neck adrift.

O'Brien started training Winter only this season after her former handler David Wachman, a dab hand with the fillies, had called it quits and retired.

"I'm obviously delighted. David (Wachman) always thought the world of her and told us she was going to be a Classic filly," said O'Brien, whose previous Guineas doubles came in 2005 and 2012. "Wayne gave her a great ride. She's a fine, big mare.

O'Brien also praised the runner-up.

"The second horse ran a great race. She came home very well. She's a filly that's going to stay very well," said the 47-year-old, who for good measure earlier won the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes with Somehow.

Lordan had always planned to have her prominent from an early stage.

"She travelled quite well," said Lordan. "I went forward quite early because she's a filly that gallops and I knew the track would suit her.

"This means a lot. I'm very grateful to Aidan for letting me keep the ride on the filly.

"It was pretty straightforward. I just followed the pace.

"Even though it was her first time on the track (Newmarket), it didn't matter.

"I think she'll get a mile and a quarter (2,000m)."

Lordan's remarks may force a rethink by the bookmakers as they slashed her odds from 33-1 to 8-1 for the Epsom Oaks next month in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's victory - the Oaks though is over a mile and a half (2,400m).

There was disappointment for O'Brien's son Joseph, whose first runner in the classic Intricately never looked like repeating her victory over Rhododendron in last year's Moyglare Stakes, fading to finish 12th of the 14 runners.

On Saturday, O'Brien saddled his record eighth English 2,000 Guineas winner as Churchill justified 6-4 favouritism with a convincing victory in the first British classic of the season.

Churchill won the colts' mile showpiece at Newmarket, eastern England, from Barney Roy, a 7-2 chance, with Andre Fabre's French raider Al Wukair (11-2) third.

For Churchill's jockey, Ryan Moore, it was a second 2,000 win after he partnered O'Brien's Gleneagles in 2015.

Moore had Churchill beautifully positioned, making his decisive move to hit the front 200m out to score by one length, with only a neck splitting second and third.

"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," O'Brien told ITV Racing. - AFP