Son Of Churchill Wins Dante Stakes En Route to Epsom
All eyes were on the Dante Stakes in the hopes of finding a leading Derby Contender and it was The Foxes (3c Churchill - Tanaghum, by Darshaan) who emerged victorious in Thursday’s Group 2 feature at York.
Andrew Badling’s charge won the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes as a two-year-old, with that form boosted by the runner-up’s subsequent Group 1 win, and made a pleasing return to action when finishing second in the Group 3 Craven Stakes last month. Stepping up to ten furlongs at York, he was settled towards the back of the field by Oisin Murphy and improved to chase the leaders two furlongs from home. Pushed along to lead a furlong later, he was ridden on the run-in to win by a neck, with another length and a quarter back to the third.
“He was the best horse in the race,” Andrew Balding later declared. “We're thrilled, it's just what we wanted to see, to win the race and hopefully go on to better things.”
When quizzed on The Foxes’ suitability for Epsom, Balding said, “This horse has got a very good brain on him, which is important. To give yourself a chance of staying you've got to settle and he does that well. He's got a touch of class, which you need, and he's a very well-balanced horse.”
Balding and King Power Racing also raced The Foxes’ brother Bangkok (Australia) to win four Stakes races, though Balding revealed he rates The Foxes the better horse. Bred by Barronstown Stud, The Foxes sold to Sackville Donald as a yearling for 440,000gns. A full-brother to Stakes winner Perotan (Churchill), he continues a terrific season so far for Churchill, following Blue Rose Cen’s win in the French 1,000 Guineas.