By: Paul Harrison
The opening race on the final day of what has been in a fabulous week at Royal Ascot is this 7f event for the two-year-olds. The Chesham Stakes at 2.30 is actually the longest juvenile contest of the week and is restricted to those horses to have been sired by a winner over a trip of 1m2f or further. The field is dominated by representatives from the top British and Irish yards with the overseas threat coming from Wesley Wards, Love The Kitten.
The one to back here is Aiden O’Brien’s filly, Ballydoyle. The fact she was so heavily punted prior to her debut at the end of May presumably suggests she was showing plenty at home. To stand out amongst the two-year-olds at O’Briens yard, the chances are you have to be pretty smart, as he has no shortage of juvenile talent at his disposal. That she only managed to finish fourth on that first run is not of too much concern as O’Brien’s two-year-olds had yet to come to hand at that stage of the season. The same can hardly be said to be the case now. From three juvenile runners at the Royal Ascot Festival, O’Brien has recorded two wins and a second. He has also scored with his only two-year-old runner in Ireland in this period. The Irish maestro’s representatives are invariably amongst the best on pedigree in whichever race they turn up. Ballydoyle is no exception, being by super sire Galileo out of a Storm Cat mare. She is certainly bred to be smart, the yard have saw fit to name her after their all-conquering Irish operation and as mentioned O’Briens two year olds are flying at present. She will more than likely go off as favourite here but looks a worthy one. Odd’s of around the 3.0 are perfectly fair. If you need any further encouragement to back her, the man in the saddle is a certain Ryan Moore. In our humble opinion he is head and shoulders the best jockey on the planet and has produced a masterclass so far this week.
We also like the look of one each way here. John Gosden has been enjoying another excellent season and currently holds two entries for this. The unraced Cymric would appear to be the first string on jockey bookings as William Buick takes the ride. That may not necessarily be the case however as Buick is retained by Cymric’s owners Godolphin so has no option but to ride. The one we like at big odds is Gosden’s other runner, Force. By Breeders Cup Classic hero Raven’s Pass, he was always likely to need further than the 6f of his debut outing at Goodwood. As such we were reasonably encouraged by a staying on third that day. He will find this extra furlong and more conventional track to his liking, and Gosden’s runners can step forward significantly from their debut outing. Available at around ten times the price of the favourite, he is worth a small stakes each way bet.