He's the Ballydoyle banker of Royal Ascot according to our Irish Eyes column who can't see Churchill getting beaten.
Recommended bets: Irish Eyes
The St James’s Palace Stakes looks relatively straightforward and supplies the bet of the day.
Barney Roy was unlucky in the 2000 Guineas, of that there is no doubt whatsoever. The track certainly didn’t suit an inexperienced horse like him - he had an interrupted run and stumbled at a vital part of the race when he should have been quickening to challenge Churchill so it’s easy to see why he is expected to reverse the placings.
He is bound to have improved five or six lengths from that run too as he was still learning and it was only his third run. That being as it may he will have to wait longer, perhaps until Goodwood, to exact his revenge on Churchill as reports of his recent works suggest he has improved a lot more than five or six lengths.
Aidan O’Brien’s champion two-year-old goes on any ground but on his dam side, he is bred to absolutely relish good-to-firm going. He stripped a little fitter at the Curragh compared to when he won at Newmarket and by all accounts that race, as well as two pieces of work since, will see him arrive at his absolute peak for the most important race of the week for the Coolmore empire.
We won’t get rich backing him at the current prices of 4/6 but he really should be closer to 1/2, if not shorter, so the advice would be to take the price.
Nothing is left to chance with the excellent Lancaster Bomber in the field who will also love the ground and ensure there is a decent pace on. The others can’t afford to give him too much rope in front, as they know he is capable of stealing it if allowed an easy lead, so Aidan has all bases covered.
Churchill is the banker of the week for the Ballydoyle team and no matter how many winners Aidan trains - the number was seven last year and stands at 55 in total - the week will be regarded as disappointing if Churchill fails to score on the opening day.
Nine of the 14 Irish runners on the first day are trained by Aidan O’Brien and Murillo gets the each-way vote in the Coventry. Murillo was well supported but ultimately terribly disappointing on his debut at the Curragh when last of six.
However, that money that was lost that day was only lent as it turned out and he looked an entirely different prospect next time out, as is so often the case with the O’Brien juveniles making their second starts, when he was very impressive at Tipperary picking up in the style of a good animal.
His sire, Scat Daddy has a tremendous record from very few runners at Ascot, having not only supplied the winner of this race last year in Caravaggio but also that of the last two Queen Mary winners viz Acapulco and Lady Aurelia respectively.
Murillo resembles the latter in many respects as he simply towers over the opposition and he could bring up a double for the Ballydoyle team on day one at 7/1.
Posted 1938 BST on 19/06/2017