Paddington steams home in battle of the Classic winners

Aidan O’Brien became the most successful trainer in Royal Ascot history after Paddington ran out a brilliant winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes.

The Ballydoyle handler joined Sir Michael Stoute when River Tiber provided him with an 82nd success courtesy of the Coventry Stakes earlier in the afternoon.

The St James’s Palace was one of the most anticipated races of the week, with 2000 Guineas hero Chaldean and Irish 2,000 Guineas victor Paddington locking horns – and it was the latter who comprehensively came out on top in the hands of Ryan Moore, to put O’Brien out on his own.

Andrew Balding’s Chaldean – the narrow favourite at 13-8 – attempted to make every yard of the running under Frankie Dettori but he was unable to resist the surge of 11-5 chance Paddington in the home straight, with the Siyouni colt pulling three-and-three-quarter lengths clear at the line.

Chaldean clung on to the runner-up spot from the staying-on Charyn, with French Guineas runner-up Isaac Shelby best of the rest in fourth.

O’Brien said: “Ryan gave him a beautiful ride because he knew it was going to be tactical. He didn’t panic and he produced him at the right time. He’s able to quicken very well and that is what makes good horses great.

“The lads will have to think about whether he stays at a mile for something like the Sussex or goes up in trip. He has all the options because he obviously has the speed of a top miler but he’s bred to get further. The lads always said – John (Magnier) said to me – that this horse would get further than a mile if you wanted him to, no problem.”

Speaking of the winner starting off in a handicap at Naas this year, O’Brien said: “In the spring we are just trying to get the horses out, normally ours are too high to run in handicaps, but he wasn’t. The Madrid Handicap in Ireland is always a good race, you need a good horse for it. He didn’t bolt in on the bridle, but he won like a nice horse and we’ve always really liked him.

“He’s progressed with every run. Last time was his first time on real good ground and we weren’t sure how he would handle it, so he’s obviously very good.

“To break the record is amazing and there are so many people to thank for it, I couldn’t do it without them. And Sir Michael is such a special man, we always looked up to him, always. We’re in a very unique position with these horses.”

Dettori said of Chaldean: “He is a super horse, he found one too good today but he was a good second. It was a solid run.”

Balding added: “He was beaten by a very good horse, Frankie just felt he probably just overdid it a little early, but I’m not sure whether that would have made a difference to the result. Two very high-class horses.”

On the fine effort of Roger Varian’s Charyn (33-1), rider David Egan said: “He was very good. I was always confident he would outrun his odds. I saw he was 80-1 or so earlier in the day, crazy stuff because he ran a great race in the Irish Guineas.

“He had a rough race, as did most, in the English Guineas and was second behind Isaac Shelby (in the Greenham), so he’s obviously turned that form around. I’m very proud of the horse, he has shown he has enough talent to compete with the big boys.”

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