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Juddmonte International is an option for Churchill

4 Aug 2017

Aidan O'Brien has no regrets about not running 2000 Guineas winner on deep ground at Goodwood

Connections of Churchill were wary of “damaging him for the future” at Goodwood. Picture:

Churchill could step up in distance and seek more QIPCO British Champions glory in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York on August 23.

The QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner followed up in the Irish equivalent before finishing a lacklustre fourth in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He had been an intended runner in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on Wednesday but was withdrawn shortly before the start after torrential rain turned the ground very deep.

Churchill may now step up in trip – just as stablemate Winter did when landing the Qatar Nassau Stakes on Thursday.

“We were looking forward to running Churchill, but he’s safe and back at home,” O’Brien said. “I would have loved to have run him, but the risk factor of running him in that ground and damaging him for the future was too great.

“His owners opted on the side of caution and it wasn’t the wrong decision. Donncha [his son] rode him out this morning and everyone was very happy with him.

“There is the option of going to York and running over a mile and a quarter [Juddmonte International], or going to France and staying at a mile [in the Prix Jacques Le Marois]. Nothing will be decided for a week or 10 days.”