The Greenham Stakes at Newbury was intended to be a classic trial, but an unexpected incident turned the race into a disappointment for punters. Chaldean, the top juvenile last season, was heavily backed to confirm his place in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas. However, as the stalls opened, he was slightly hampered and his jockey, Frankie Dettori, was thrown to the ground. Isaac Shelby, trained by Brian Meehan, took advantage of the situation to win the race.
Chaldean won the Dewhurst Stakes last year and was still the second-favourite at 5-1 for the 2,000 Guineas despite his setback. Andrew Balding, who trains Chaldean for Juddmonte, said: “It was one of those unfortunate things, but I’m happy the horse seems fine and I hope Frankie is as well. We don’t normally bash into other horses at home – he’s ducked slightly right and hit another horse and Frankie has come off.”
Isaac Shelby, owned by Manton Thoroughbreds and racing in the Robert Sangster silks, had previously won the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket. Meehan has always had his eyes set on the Poule d’essai des Poulains, and the market moves for Isaac Shelby were related to the French Guineas. Meehan had been disappointed after Isaac Shelby’s flop in the Dewhurst Stakes and decided not to return to Newmarket until the horse was older and more mature.
Meehan said that Isaac Shelby was not the finished article and had more to come, despite the mishap at the Dewhurst.
The incident with Chaldean may have left some questions about his ability to perform at the Newmarket Classic. However, punters may have gained some clarity about Isaac Shelby’s quality from the race.