Top-Rated Palace Pier Earns Breeders’ Cup Berth With Queen Anne Victory

The world’s top-rated racehorse Palace Pier followed up his St James’s Palace Stakes win from 2020 with victory in the opening contest of this year’s Royal Ascot, the G1 Queen Anne Stakes over a mile. The win earned Palace Pier an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile this fall at Del Mar in California.

Sent off a red-hot 2/7 favorite under Royal Ascot’s most prolific current jockey Frankie Dettori, the 4-year-old was pushed out for a comfortable length and a half success over Lope Y Fernandez (12/1), with Sir Busker (22/1) another length back in third.

Last year’s G1 victory over the round mile was played out in front of empty grandstands, but today 12,000 spectators were able to enjoy a classy performance from Palace Pier. This victory was a 74th at the meeting for the rider, and a first for John Gosden in a training partnership with his son Thady.

A relieved John Gosden said: “It was a slowly run race over a straight mile and he’s a very relaxed horse — you saw how he cantered down, he hack cantered down.

“I think we were very aware that there was no pace in the race. Frankie said, ‘I’m drawn where I am so I’ll stay on the wing’ because we suspected a slow pace, which is what we got – a slow pace and a slow time – but then, don’t sit out the back when they kick, with two and a half, three to run. He has done it really smoothly; he has come through, won his race, and is exactly like his father [Kingman], as soon as he gets there, he has done enough. And if I worked him at home with a very ordinary horse, he’d just stay with them – that’s his game.

“If you are odds-on like that, it would be a bit odd if you weren’t nervous, because your only thing round the corner is a banana skin, so it can happen. He had a normal blow afterwards – he has done more in his work at home than he did today. I’ve been second in this race three times – it took [son] Thady to get me over the line!

“It’s wonderful – those people who have come and had a test, it’s fantastic and there’s a gorgeous atmosphere because it’s not crowded, it’s very comfortable, and it’s a gorgeous day. To that extent, full marks to people who made the effort.

“Palace Pier’s options are the Sussex Stakes, the Jacques le Marois in Deauville, which he won last year. And obviously you can step him up a trip if you wanted to, for the Juddmonte International, something like that. He is a grand horse, great attitude, good looking, nice scope.”

Dettori said: “Wow, wow. What can I say? He has shown again that he is the best miler around.

“You can rely on Palace Pier. It is like getting one of the proper guys to take the first penalty and they will put it in the back of the net.

“He is one of the best horses in the world and everything went right. 31 years ago I rode my first Royal Ascot winner on Markofdistinction in the Queen Anne. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.

“I am still getting the same kick and I am pretty relieved that everything went smooth. It makes a big difference [to have an early Royal Ascot winner]. I have a lot of big rides this week and it takes the pressure off.

“Palace Pier is the best miler around the world. He goes on any ground, he is very kind, does what you ask him to do. He comes from behind, can be up there and he is a great partner to have in these races. It’s not just me, he should take the credit.

“You cannot imagine to see the colors, the people screaming. It is a mirage – I’m so pleased to have the crowd back. It’s great. What can you say? Royal Ascot with people is amazing and this meeting is a big part of my life. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The post Top-Rated Palace Pier Earns Breeders’ Cup Berth With Queen Anne Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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