Eight runners are set to go to post for the Coolmore Stud Churchill Stakes (18:45) at Tipperary on Friday, a seven-furlong listed contest for two-year-olds.
Trainer Ger Lyons is seeking his fourth success in this race since 2014 and this year he saddles another leading contender in the shape of Hellsing (112p). After making a successful debut at the Curragh in May, Hellsing then confirmed the promise of that effort with a good second in the Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown last time, keeping on gradually to pass the post just a length and a quarter behind the winner. That form sets the standard here on Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings and Hellsing is likely to progress further, so he looks to hold very solid claims.
Pearling Path (109) is in opposition again here after finishing last of the five runners in the Tyros, failing to back up his excellent run in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot the time before. However, he is perhaps best judged on that effort for now at least, particularly as he wasn't seen to best effect at Leopardstown after being caught further back than ideal in a steadily-run race.
La Dolce Vita (111) was in action on the same card at Leopardstown, producing a career-best effort to be beaten just half a length into third in the Silver Flash Stakes. That was a useful performance against her own sex and a repeat of that form will put her right in the mix here for Donnacha O'Brien, who has the 'Hot Trainer' Flag to denote that his yard is in rude health.
Papilio (108) is another filly in the line-up and she shouldn't be underestimated after winning a minor event at Killarney last time, always doing just enough there to beat Greenland (100) by a length in comfortable fashion. The booking of Jamie Spencer catches the eye today and there is no reason why Papilio shouldn't uphold the form with Greenland, who has plenty to find to provide Aidan O'Brien with his fifth win in this race since 2013.
The pick of the rest could be Serious Challenge (100p), who looked a bright prospect when getting off the mark at Galway last week, digging deep under pressure to land the spoils by three quarters of a length. The drop back in trip today is a slight concern, but he has plenty of physical scope and is open to more improvement for Jim Bolger, who also has the 'Hot Trainer' Flag.
Lakota Seven (96p) is another likely improver having still looked very rough around the edges when opening his account at Bellewstown last month, while the field is completed by Pandora Lovegood (102), who is bidding for a hat-trick but will find this much tougher than the nursery she won at Galway on Saturday.
Timeform Analyst's Verdict:
Having made a winning debut, Hellsing excelled himself when second in Group 3 company a fortnight ago and with improvement forthcoming, he looks the answer. La Dolce Vita is second choice, with Serious Challenge a likely improver.
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