Churchill has given champion trainer Aidan O’Brien a record eighth win in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, the first European Classic of the season.
Last season’s champion two-year-old showed he had trained on with a top-class performance under a confident ride from Ryan Moore who had the 6-4 favourite perfectly placed throughout.
Churchill’s turn of foot proved decisive as he got first run on his main rivals and won by a length from Barney Roy (7-2) with Al Wukair (11-2) a neck away third.
“I was very worried about it being his first run (for the season). He’s a big horse and we knew he would come on for the run,” O’Brien said.
“Everyone at home was very happy with the horse which is why we took the chance to come first time, so I’m delighted.
“The lads (owners) will decide about the Derby themselves. They make all the decisions about all the horses.”
Godolphin’s John Ferguson said the St James’s Palace Stakes was the likely next step for runner-up Barney Roy:
“I am delighted with the way he has run,” he said.
“Sheikh Mohammed’s first reaction was that he is probably a horse for the St James’s Palace Stakes.
“The thing to remember is this was his second run this year. He has had two quick runs and three in total and he has performed like a top-class racehorse so there is lots to look forward to.”