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Battleground Champions Chesham
Credit: Ascot Racecourse

Battleground Champions Chesham

ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND – Coolmore’s Battleground made headway once an opening appeared and fought his way to the front to champion Thursday’s Chesham Stakes on Day 3 of the 2020 Royal Ascot Meet.

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Sent away as the 8/5 stateside favorite under Ryan Moore, Battleground raced midfield within the tightly-knit group of 2-year-olds. March Law dueled for the lead with his Mark Johnston stablemate Golden Flame, racing heads apart until nearing the halfway point, when March Law moved up to take sole command.

Battleground remained covered up behind rivals until he crossed the 2-furlong marker, which is when an opening appeared in front of him. Sent through it toward the front, Battleground fought hard to close over the soft going and took control with a 1/2-furlong remaining.

Asserting his strength in the final stages, the Aidan O’Brien trainee crossed 2 1/2 lengths clear while completing the 7-furlong sprint in a final time of 1:30.62.

“We are delighted to win today,” O’Brien said. “It was a big ask for our 2-year-olds, as most of them only ran last week. We needed to get a run into him, otherwise it was going to be difficult to get into the race, as they would have been fourth or fifth preference. We were lucky in this race that it was not a full field.”

March Law held second by 1 3/4 lengths over Seattle Rock, who was closing well late until he suddenly veered sharply toward the outer rail. Golden Flame, Modern NewsBright DevilClarendon Cross, and First Prophet completed the order of finish.

Concessions was a non-runner.

Battleground’s win broke his maiden status in his second start, as the War Front colt had finished fifth in his debut while going 6 furlongs at Naas. He is the first foal out of the 2016 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) winner Found, who won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) and finished second in the 2016 edition.

“We are hoping that he could progress into a very good miler,” O’Brien said. “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. Battleground is an unbelievable specimen, really.”

Battleground brought back $5.40 to win and $3 to place, March Law brought back $8.80 to place, and Seattle Rock paid $17.40 to place. 

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