Chaldean all set for Royal Ascot clash of the Classic winners

Guineas hero Chaldean will bid to repeat his impressive Newmarket performance when he goes for the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

The Andrew Balding-trained Frankel colt headed to the first Classic of the season with question marks having unshipped Frankie Dettori at the start in his intended tune-up in the Greenham at Newbury.

But he silenced the doubters in style on the Rowley Mile to claim 2000 Guineas glory as he showed all the qualities that made him such a formidable two-year-old last year. He now heads to Berkshire attempting to add to his impeccable CV.

Both Jim Bolger’s Poetic Flare and Charlie Appleby’s Coroebus have completed the 2000 Guineas/St James’s Palace double in the past two seasons and connections are not worried about Chaldean’s draw in stall one as he attempts to follow in their footsteps, tackling a round course for the first time.

“He’s pretty uncomplicated. He can jump and be handy and he can jump and take a pull. He’s a versatile horse when you look at his races,” said Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

“Last year at Doncaster he had a small field to contend with and had to make it, then Newmarket he settled in and took a lead, so he’s versatile and it will be great to see him back.

“The horse has never done anything wrong in his career to date and hopefully he can continue his good run. Andrew is happy, everyone at Kingsclere feels he is in the right place and we’re all excited for Tuesday.”

Chaldean is not the only Classic winner in the line-up as the red-hot contest also features Paddington, who claimed the Irish equivalent in good style at the Curragh.

The Siyouni colt will bid to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a record-extending ninth win in the one-mile Group One and said: “We’ve been happy with him since the Curragh and everything has gone well. He has progressed with every run.

“He won on good ground at the Curragh, we weren’t sure about the ground before the last day but he seemed to be very happy on it.”

John Gosden has won this three times in the last 10 years and alongside his son Thady is responsible for one of the most exciting prospects in the race, Mostabshir, who bounced back from a below-par performance in the Craven to show his class at York when bolting up by five lengths from a subsequent winner.

“It’s a fascinating clash with the two Guineas winners,” said Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell.

“Our horse is very progressive but he’s going to need to be. So it will be interesting to see how he gets on.

“He’s worked very nicely (since York). He’s a very happy horse who enjoys life and enjoys his work and he looks in good shape. Hopefully whatever he is capable of, he will give his best wherever that fits in.”

Another horse on an upward curve and looking to make his mark at the highest level is the unbeaten Cicero’s Gift, who arrives on the back of an impressive display at Goodwood, and is one of two for Charlie Hills in this British Champions Series race alongside 2000 Guineas fourth Galeron.

“We did toy with the idea of running Cicero’s Gift in the Guineas as well (as Galeron), but wanted to keep a low profile with this race in mind,” said Hills.

“He took a bit of time to come to hand last year and is going to get better with age and experience – he might get further in time as well.

“He’s a good-looking chap, improving with each race but he is going into a Group One which will be a different experience.”

Isaac Shelby took advantage of Chaldean’s misfortune to scoop the Greenham back in April and went close to getting on the Classic honours board when denied by the barest of margins in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.

Brian Meehan’s son of Night Of Thunder, who claimed the Superlative Stakes on home soil last season, brings added spice to a deep contest with his handler confident he has a top-class miler on his hands.

“I really think he has a huge future and I really think it is at a mile, even though we gave him the sprint entries,” said the Manton-based trainer.

“He is much more relaxed in his work since Paris and you can see him maturing. He’s an exciting horse to have but there is nowhere to hide at this level.”

Paul and Oliver Cole’s Royal Scotsman finished third at Newmarket in the Guineas but has a point to prove following a disappointing effort at the Curragh, while Charyn (Roger Varian) and Indestructible (Karl Burke) complete the crack group of nine heading to post.

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