Royal Ascot 2023

Snellen charts winning course in Chesham Stakes

Trainer Gavin Cromwell and jockey Gary Carroll combined successfully for the second time at Royal Ascot with Snellen (12/1) in the Listed Chesham Stakes, following Quick Suzy’s win in the 2021 Queen Mary Stakes.

A debut winner at Limerick 10 days ago, Snellen led on the stands’ side entering the final furlong and had to repel the challenge of  7/4 favourite Pearls And Rubies, who got rolling down the centre of the track.

Both fillies were wayward towards the finish, with a head separating them at the line. There was a dead-heat for third between Golden Mind and Oddyssey.

Carroll said: “I thought I was beaten to be honest. I thought we would all be staying stands’ side, but the fancied horses all ended up further away from me. The last half furlong was a very long half furlong for me – she was looking for company and started to lean a bit, but she’s a very good filly.

“She is a little bit weak and was getting a little lonely when she started rolling. I tried to correct her in Limerick when she went like that and lost momentum. So I was going forwards and thought, ‘keep going’, and thankfully I hung on.

“She is only after coming to herself in the last month. We were going to run her in this race first time out but, after running in a barrier trial, the Limerick race presented itself and seemed an ideal starting point. She was very green that day so I’m glad we gave her that run.

“Gavin Cromwell is doing some job with these horses, without a doubt. Whether it’s three miles or five furlongs, he gets the best out of everything. But Gavin, all he wants to do is improve, there are no airs or graces. He said he went down and spent a day with Joseph O’Brien, and last year he spent a day with Paddy Twomey, just to try and pick up something. His results are showing.

“[At Royal Ascot] when you get inside the three-furlong pole, there’s an energy which comes at you – it gets me going, anyway.”

Cromwell said: “Snellen won a barrier trial before Limerick. She has been nice from the word go and is progressing. I think she’s going to improve as well.”

On whether he has a proper Classic contender on his hands, he said: “I haven’t even thought about it to be honest. We will enjoy today – it’s fantastic.”

Richard Henry, husband of co-owner Roisin Henry, said of Pearls And Rubies: “She went to win her race, and maybe got a bit lonely on her own. She has run a great race and will come on for the run. She is a sweet filly. Ryan [Moore] thinks she could be very good.”

Odyssey’s trainer Patrick Owens said: “This is just unbelievable. I have had a lot of faith in this horse – we’ve only been beaten three and a bit lengths. We were completely overlooked!

“I am so proud of him. I have had faith in this horse since we got him. I gave him a couple of easy breezes in February, and then turned him away for two weeks.

“We had a line through a few of these runners. I was happy with the draw, happy with the ground, we had Jim [Crowley] on board, brilliant. Jim has done a fantastic job.”

2.30pm Chesham Stakes (Listed)

1 Snellen (Lindsay Laroche) Gavin Cromwell IRE 2-9-00 Gary Carroll 12/1

2 Pearls And Rubies (Roisin Henry & Sue Magnier) Aidan O’Brien IRE 2-9-00 Ryan Moore 7/4F

3 Golden Mind (Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum) Richard Fahey 2-9-05 Oisin Orr 12/1

3 Odyssey (Pinnacle Thoroughbreds 3) Patrick Owens 2-9-05 Jim Crowley 125/1

16 ran              fav

Gavin Cromwell – 2nd Royal Ascot winner

Gary Carroll  – 2nd Royal Ascot winner

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