Derby Contender for Churchill
Headed back to Australia this spring, Churchill posted his tenth stakes-winner in Ireland on Sunday when lightly raced colt Sprewell (3c Churchill x Lahaleeb, by Redback) stamped himself as a Derby contender with a dominant win in the Group III Derby Trial Stakes (1m2f) at Leopardstown.
Trained by Jessica Harrington and ridden by Shane Foley, Sprewell surged clear to win by three lengths at just his fourth start.
“Sprewell is a very, very good horse. He wouldn't excite you at home and I wasn't sure how he was going but Kate [Harrington, assistant and daughter to Jessica] told me he was fine, ready and not to worry,” said Shane Foley.
“He gave me a proper feel, when I gave him a squeeze he came back underneath me. It was a proper-run race and a good one. He'll be a Derby horse hopefully. He enjoys that soft ground really well. There's no reason why he shouldn't go on better ground but he handles it well.”
Bred and raced by Mohamed Khalid Mohamed Abdulrahim, Sprewell has two wins from four starts and holds entries for the Epsom, Irish and French Derbies.
He is the best of five winners from Group I winner Lahaleeb and is the tenth stakes-winner for Churchill, who stands this season in Australia at a fee of $22,000.