Pencarrow Stud Bred Churchill Mare Wins G3 Anniversary
Progressive mare Churchillian (4m Churchill x Fond du Coeur, by Fastnet Rock) produced a dogged effort to take out the Group III Dixon & Dunlop Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trnetham in New Zealand on Saturday.
Rider Lily Sutherland had the four-year-old daughter of Churchill positioned on the heels of pacemaker Sergio throughout after beginning well from barrier 12 and loomed up to make her challenge shortly after turning for home.
Left a sitting duck as Sergio dropped off quickly, Churchillian found a good kick to draw two lengths clear and win her first Black Type race.
“She deserved that as she has been consistent all season,” Pike said.
“Things didn’t completely go her way as she was taken off the track at the top of the straight when things got a bit tight, but she is a good honest mare.
“She was always travelling well and despite getting some buffeting she is a pretty hard horse to get past when she gets in front.”
Pike was non-committal on a programme for the mare over the summer months but indicated a brief spell could be on the cards.
“We will just wait and see how she comes through this but she has been up quite a while with some tough racing,” he said.
“She is a promising mare going forward and I think she will only get better as she gets a bit of age on her.”
Bred by Sir Peter Vela under his Pencarrow Thoroughbreds banner, Churchillian is the first foal of Fastnet Rock mare Fond du Coeur and is closely related to a number of International stakes performers including 2006 Champion older mare of Europe, Pride, who won three times at Group I level including the 2006 Hong Kong Cup (2000m).
Purchased by Bloodstock agent Paul Willets for $100,000 from her breeders’ draft at the 2021 Book 1 Sale at Karaka, the mare has now won six of her 19 starts and over $196,00 in prizemoney for her connections.
She is the 16th stakes-winner for Galileo’s champion son Churchill, who has eight yearlings to be offered in Magic Millions Book 2 starting on Monday.