The Coolmore partners-owned Battleground (11/4f) was the comfortable winner of the Listed Chesham Stakes, lengthening impressively in the final furlong under Ryan Moore to take the seven-furlong contest from March Law (18/1).
Sired by War Front, the two-year-old colt is the first foal of 2016 Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Found, who was also trained by Aidan O’Brien.
The winner, Moore’s 61st Royal Ascot success, had two and a half lengths to spare over Mark Johnston’s March Law, with the Sylvester Kirk-trained Seattle Rock (80/1) a further length and three-quarters back in third.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien, who has one winner each day this week at the Berkshire venue, said of Battleground, his 73rd Royal Ascot winner:
“He had a good clear run at Naas, there was no hard luck story but he learnt a lot from it. He is out of Found so you would have hoped he would stay further really. We were worried about the ground. Battleground is by War Front, but Found handled soft ground when she won the Breeders’ Cup Turf .”
Looking to the future with the two-year-old, the Master of Ballydoyle, said:
“Battleground is an exciting horse – he could be anything. He could be one for the July Meeting or the National Stakes. I would imagine he would stay well and probably a mile will be his trip. Found got a mile and a half, but he is by War Front and that is a big influence for speed. We are hoping that he could progress into a very good miler.”
Commenting on Battleground’s dam, Found, O’Brien admitted:
“Found was an unbelievable, magic mare. She was one of the very special ones and everyone remembers her. Obviously, this is her first foal and everyone wants to do well.”
3.00pm Chesham Stakes (Listed)
1 Battleground Aidan O’Brien 2-9-03 Ryan Moore 11/4f
2 March Law Mark Johnston 2-9-03 Silvestre De Sousa 18/1
3 Seattle Rock Sylvester Kirk 2-8-12 David Egan 80/1
Non-Runner: 8 Concessions (Self Certificate, Going)
Time: 1m 30.62s
Distances: 2½, 1¾
Sir Dragonet (15/8f) could only manage second in the Listed Wolferton Stakes for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore as jockey James Doyle bagged his third winner of the week on Mountain Angel (8/1) for trainer Roger Varian.
Sir Dragonet, who ran in the Investec Derby at Epsom last season finished two and a quarter lengths behind the victor, with Regal Regality (11/2) and Jim Crowley a further half-length behind.
James Doyle, who has now ridden a total of 16 Royal Ascot winners, said of the comfortable winner of the 10 furlongs race:
“He did it, it worked out perfectly for him. Obviously, he ran a good race in it last year, finishing fifth, when he got into a bit of scrimmaging in Swinley Bottom and that put paid to his chances.
1.50pm Wolferton Stakes (Listed)
1 Mountain Angel Roger Varian 6-9-03 James Doyle 8/1
2 Sir Dragonet Aidan O’Brien 4-9-03 Ryan Moore 15/8f
3 Regal Reality Sir Michael Stoute 5-9-03 Jim Crowley 11/2
Non-Runners: 1 Dubai Warrior (Going); 15 Aloe Vera (Vet’s Certificate, (Lame); 16 Bubble And Squeak (Going)
Time: 2m 11.9s
Distances: 2¼, ½
Monarch Of Egypt (4/1), a runner in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh last weekend, turned out again today, battled inside the final furlong with eventual winner Molatham (11/2) in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes.
The win was a fifth success at this year’s meeting for jockey Jim Crowley as he brought owner Hamdan Al Maktoum more success.
Molatham won by half a length from Monarch Of Egypt, even though the runner-up had headed the Roger Varian-trained colt in the latter stages of the race, while Smybolize was another three and a quarter lengths back in third for Andrew Balding and David Probert.
The other Irish-trained runner, King Of Athens, under Seán Levey, finished back in 12th place.
2.25pm Jersey Stakes (Group 3)
1 Molatham Roger Varian 3-9-01 Jim Crowley 11/2
2 Monarch Of Egypt Aidan O’Brien 3-9-01 Ryan Moore 4/1
3 Symbolize Andrew Balding 3-9-01 David Probert 40/1
Non-Runners: 3 Fleeting Prince (Going); 11 Repartee (Going)
9/4 Fav King Leonidas (6th)
Time: 1m 28.94s
Distances: ½, 3¼