Unbeaten Palace Pier Earns Breeders’ Cup Mile Berth With Deauville Win

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s Palace Pier (GB) extended his unbeaten record in winning the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois (G1) Sunday at Deauville, France, and earned an automatic berth into the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 6-7.

Palace Pier, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori, showed a devastating turn of foot to win the straight mile European showpiece in testing conditions. The 3-year-old emulated his sire Kingman (GB), who won the race in 2014, to score by three-quarters of a length ahead of Coronation Stakes (G1) heroine Alpine Star (IRE) in second. The pair drawing well clear of their rivals, with three-time Group 1 winner Circus Maximus (IRE) finishing five lengths back in third.

After completing the mile in 1:36.06 over a course listed as heavy, Palace Pier was cut to 5-1 with Betfair for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile in November.

Dettori speaking to the Racing Post, said: “Palace Pier is a special horse. We went a good gallop on testing ground. I asked him to get closer, and before I knew it, I was two lengths in front so it just shows what he can do. He’s a lovely horse to be around and has delivered a lot.”

Dettori indicated that the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot could be next for the dual Group 1 winner.

“The QEII would be an obvious target knowing that he handles soft ground. He’s only run five times, so I hope he stays in training as he has a lot more to offer.”

Today’s victory was the second consecutive Group 1 score for Palace Pier. On June 20, he captured the St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Palace Pier becomes the sixth horse this year to gain a “Win and You’re In” berth for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile. He joins Vardy (SAF), winner of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) in South Africa, Raging Bull (FR) who captured the Shoemaker Mile Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita, Gran Alegria (JPN), who took the Yasuda Kinen (G1) in Japan, Circus Maximus (IRE), winner of the Queen Anne (G1) at Royal Ascot, and Sussex Stakes (G1) scorer, Mohaather (GB).

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Palace Pier to start in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile, which will be run at 1 mile over the Keeneland turf course. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.

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