Point made in thrilling Chesham

Point Lonsdale came out on top in a thrilling renewal of the Chesham Stakes to deny the Queen a famous winner on her visit to Royal Ascot.

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore had only tasted success once this week, with Love in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes – but their supporters latched on to this once-raced Australia colt.

Sent off the well-backed 10-11 favourite, he was given a real race of it by Frankie Dettori on the John and Thady Gosden-trained Reach For The Moon.

Understandably in the conditions, it was only a steady pace set by Sweeping, who was still in front of the main group entering the final furlong while Reach For The Moon led Masekela on the far side.

Point Lonsdale then came through to challenge and with Reach For The Moon pulled clear, with the latter drifting right and the favourite going off to his left.

It did not stop him going forwards, however, and he won by half a length. Great Max caught Sweeping for third.

Coral make Point Lonsdale a 12-1 chance for next year’s 2000 Guineas. Paddy Power and Betfair go 16-1 about the Derby.

O’Brien said: “Sorry about that (beating the Queen’s horse), but we are delighted with Point Lonsdale.

“We were delighted with his only run at the Curragh. Everyone has always been happy with him and we think a lot about him. He’s very smart. For a horse bred to be a middle-distance horse he’s always shown a lot of speed.

“It’s unusual for an Australia to be so far forward and the great thing is he’s so genuine and when you ask him he digs deep. He’s a very good mover and that’s why I was worried about the ground, because he’s a colt that bends his knee and is very low.

The Queen with Frankie Dettori and gallant Chesham runner-up Reach For The Moon
The Queen with Frankie Dettori and gallant Chesham runner-up Reach For The Moon (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“But he’s a baby still and did wander in the closing stages. He does it very naturally and will have learned a lot today.

“I hope he’s a Classic horse that can go for the Guineas and the Derby. He has a good chance of getting a mile and a quarter and might get further.

“We will look at the Group races in Ireland, something like the National Stakes, but it will depend where the boys want to go as to where he runs next.”

Moore added: “He’s typical of the Galileo family. He’s green still, he’s still learning but he was very efficient in these conditions. He’s doing this through pure class.

“He doesn’t need this ground, he just handles it. He’s got plenty of heart.”

Thady Gosden said of the runner-up: “It was a great run and we’re really happy with him. That was only his second career run, he is still very inexperienced.

“I think Reach For The Moon and the winner Point Lonsdale got lonely in front, but they both ran on well and look two nice prospects.

“Obviously our lad handled the ground, but he would also prefer better ground in the future – he is one to look forward to.”

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