2020 Royal Ascot Chesham Stakes preview – Is there a new Pinatubo lurking?

Pinatubo won the 2019 Chesham StakesPinatubo won the 2019 Chesham Stakes

Going to post on day three of Royal Ascot, the Listed Chesham Stakes is the second of the two-year old only contests and the competitive big-fied affair takes place over the straight seven furlongs.

This race is usually run on the final day as the curtain-raiser to Saturday’s card; but this year the race has been rescheduled for 2020 Royal Ascot following the coronavirus pandemic and takes place on Thursday instead.

Brian Healy picks out a few interesting potential runners in the race it might pay to take an interest in.


Pinatubo blitzed opposition in this race twelve months ago and the boys in blue looks to have another strong hand with Charlie Appleby pair Modern News and Magical Land both in the race.

The former looked very useful when scoring at Newmarket on debut and is sure to improve; while the latter met with defeat on his first run but shaped as if he would benefit from a stiffer test so the extra furlong could unlock improvement.

Both colts should be in the mix with William Buick favouring the former and the pair feature prominently at the head of the betting.


Aidan O’Brien has won two of the last four renewals, latterly with top-class pair Churchill and September, and the Ballydoyle maestro will be represented by the likes of Battleground, Snowfall and Sweet Molly Malone.

The latter would be making her debut which represents a big ask for the American Pharoah to win this Listed prize on her first run; but the fact she’s entered here speaks volumes and she shouldn’t be underestimated if taking her chance.

The other two Ballydoyle runners both met with defeat on their respective debuts but both can be expected to progress for their experiences having each shaped well in their runs. But Battleground could prove the pick of the O’Brien trio having finished fifth in what could prove a strong contest at Naas and the form could be boosted by Lipizzaner who goes to post in the Windsor Castle Stakes 24 hours prior to this race.


Godolphin’s Modern News is one of five unbeaten runners in the race and in addition to that one, Bright Devil from the Andrew Balding camp is worthy of respect having looked a smart prospect when winning at Newmarket where he beat the other Godolphin runner in this race, Magical Land.

That was an impressive success that hinted at even better to come and sure to improve he can go close under Oisin Murphy.

Richard Hannon’s Concessions also looked a useful prospect with a debut win on the Chelmsford all-weather where he overcame trouble in running. He still looked green and should progress, and if he takes to turf then it isn’t hard to see him running a big race. For each-way backers he could be worth a small Royal Ascot free bet interest.


Favourites don’t have a good record unless they are trained by Aidan O’Brien; both Churchill and September – his last two winners – returned favourite; but there have been only five winning jollies since 2003.

That said, horses towards the top end of the market have a solid return so those who feature prominently in the betting markets are worth sticking with.

The draw is all-important in this race with horses racing from low numbered stalls enjoying significant successes.


Pinatubo took this prize twelve months ago and Godolphin could have another big winner in the race; while Aidan O’Brien is also strongly represented.

Bright Devil though lowered the colours of one of the Godolphin pair in ready fashion on his debut and could improve again. The unbeaten Dark Angel colt won cosily and Andrew Balding’s charge ticks plenty of boxes so ought to go close.