King’s Stand Next For Impressive Churchill Filly
A Listed winner over course and distance as a two-year-old, the Johnny Murtagh-trained chesnut progressed to win the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes last season and was narrowly denied in a Group 2 at Meydan on her four-year-old return. Reunited with regular rider Ben Coen on Sunday, she was pushed along to challenge approaching the final furlong and produced an impressive turn of foot to lead soon after. Running on strongly, she led by three lengths on the line.
“Ladies Church is a filly we always thought the world of,” Johnny Murtagh said after the race. “The ground is key and the faster they go the better. No horse can take her off the bridle.” On future plans, the trainer added, “The King's Stand is next. We think she's a Group 1 filly and there's no better place to find out.”
Owned by Mark Dobbin, Ladies Church was bought by Murtagh and Peter Nolan as a yearling for £160,000. Her win comes a week after Churchill’s daughter Blue Rose Cen captured the French 1,000 Guineas, with The Foxes (Churchill) continuing a terrific run for their sire in the Group 2 Dante Stakes. Yashin (Churchill) kept the ball rolling on Friday, when landing the Group 3 Saval Beg at Leopardstown.