Impressive Debut Winners for Churchill
Champion trainer Chris Waller produced the first Australian winner for exciting young sire Churchill when Robusto (2c Churchill x She’s Clean, by Redoute’s Choice) scored at Warwick Farm last week and he’s now unleashed his second with a debut victory for Conqueror (2c Churchill x Dixie Chick, by Star Witness) at Randwick on Wednesday.
Conqueror surged late in a barrier trial last Thursday catching the eye with a good run for second and giving the promise of better to come on race day.
Given a good ride by Hugh Bowman from barrier one, Conqueror began well and settled midfield on the fence and was travelling well throughout.
When shown clear running in the straight, he powered up the fence with a good turn of foot to reel in the leaders and win the 1100m maiden by half a length going away in class record time.
“It was a really good debut, a great ride by Hugh Bowman and he was strong late,” said stable representative Damien Fitton.
“He’s a very professional colt and another good winner for Churchill. All the Churchill’s we have are precocious and have a great temperament.”
Hugh Bowman was well pleased with the effort of Conqueror, who holds an entry for the Group I ATC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) on April 2.
“We had the luxury of barrier one, which is a huge asset in these types of races, but the acceleration he showed was well above midweek grade and his sire Churchill is off to a great start in Australia,” Bowman said.
A $180,000 Inglis Classic purchase for Star Thoroughbreds / Randwick Bloodstock Agency from the Byerley Stud draft, Conqueror runs for a big syndicate of Star owners, who include his breeder Howard Blight.
Conqueror is the first foal of good metro winning Star Witness mare Dixie Chick, who was also bred and raced by Mr Blight.
A half-sister to Group II placed Hong Kong based sprinter Flagship Shine, Dixie Chick comes from an imported North American Black Type family.
Conqueror is the second impressive debut winner for Churchill in less than 24 hours with his Northern Hemisphere bred 3YO Gaidar (3g Churchill x Grey Lilas, by Danehill) scoring at Chantilly in good style for the Andre Fabre stable as a hot favourite.
A homebred for Gestut Amerland, Gaidar is the seventh winner from seven to race from Group I winning Danehill mare Grey Lilas, who is the dam of Group I winner Golden Lilac (Galileo), Group III winner Grey Lion (Galileo) and stakes-winner Golden Guepard.
The first Northern Hemisphere progeny of Churchill are three year-olds and include stakes-winners Ladies Church, Snaffles and Vadeni, so their progress this season will be of great interest to Australian breeders.
A champion miler by Galileo, Churchill covered his biggest Australian book so far of 160 mares last spring at a fee of $22,000.