Dewhurst Stakes: Churchill gives Aidan O'Brien 20th Group One winner
Churchill earned champion trainer Aidan O'Brien his 20th Group One winner of 2016 with a narrow victory in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
The 4-6 favourite ridden by Ryan Moore produced a late charge to beat 66-1 stablemate Lancaster Bomber and win the major two-year-old prize of the autumn.
Seven Heavens, son of Frankel, finished last under Frankie Dettori.
Churchill is the early favourite to star in 2017 in both the 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby.
Lancaster Bomber, ridden by Colm O'Donoghue, set the early pace in the seven-strong field with Churchill held up in mid-division by Moore until the final two furlongs.
Moore negotiated traffic and drove Churchill out wide and the colt looked to have plenty left in the tank as he finished strongly to notch a fifth consecutive victory.
Irish trainer O'Brien, who had a one-two-three in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly last weekend, believes the horse has only shown a glimpse of his potential.
"He is very special this horse," O'Brien, the British and Irish champion trainer, told Channel 4 Racing.
"I'm very happy with the performance, he settled into the pace and he learned a lot today. It got a little bit messy and Ryan guided him through lovely.
"He's a physically imposing horse and a great mind, relaxes and does the minimum. There's tons left up his sleeve. The quality is there in abundance."
Meanwhile, Silvestre De Sousa rode 7-1 shot Sweet Selection to victory in the the Cesarewitch heritage handicap ahead of First Mohican and Sea Of Heaven.
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