Another Group Winner For In-Form Churchill
Yashin (4g Churchill - Mirdhak, by Dansili) became Churchill’s second Group winner in as many days when taking the Group 3 Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes at Leopardstown on Friday.
Shane Foley finished second to The Foxes (Churchill) in the Group 2 Dante Stakes the previous day, but was on board Friday’s eventual winner. He rode the Jessica Harrington-trained bay in touch with the leaders, asking his mount to quicken before two furlongs out and made good headway approaching the final furlong. Ridden to lead in the final strides, Yashin won by a short head from Point King (Zoffany), while Dawn Rising (Galileo) completed a 1-2-3 for Coolmore sires past and present.
The Group 2 Curragh Cup is next on the agenda for Yashin, with loftier ambitions in the pipeline, Harrington revealed. “Yashin will have to go up a bit to get to the Melbourne Cup, but he stays well and he has to have good ground.”
Bred and co-owned by Gerry Byrne, Yashin completed a double on the card for the in-form Churchill, with Winston Spencer (3c Churchill - Glass Slipper, by Danehill) having earlier won the mile maiden on his second start.
Noel Meade’s charge showed promise at the Curragh on debut in March and appeared to appreciate the better ground on Friday, as he travelled strongly throughout under Leigh Roche. Switched right to challenge two furlongs from home, he was ridden a furlong later and kept on well to lead, going on to score by half a length.
“I like Winston Spencer a lot,” the winning trainer later commented. “He ran well at the Curragh first time and just got a bit tired. I thought he came on a lot for it and I think he'll come on again. I think he's a decent horse.”
Winston Spencer was bred by Coolmore and is owned by The Long Racing 4 Partnership.