Loading content…

The St James’s Palace Stakes

LD
  • Distance
  • Class
  • Group
  • Prize money
Buy ticketsvrsxwyefzqwtdzbsq

History

Look down the list of recent winning trainers of the one mile St James’s Palace Stakes on the first day of Royal Ascot and one name stands out – apart from Aidan O’Brien, of course, who has hogged the headlines with seven triumphs since 2000. That name? Mick Channon, the former England international footballer. Now a highly respected trainer, he won this Group 1 race for three-year-old colts with Zafeen in 2003.

Go back another year and you find another football connection, when the O’Brien-trained Rock Of Gibraltar won – wearing Manchester United colours. Rock of Gibraltar was co-owned by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, although the exact nature of that ownership ended in a bitter dispute with John Magnier that threatened to end up in the courts.

Restricted to three-year-old colts, the race is a natural follow-up race for the winners of the English, Irish and French 2000 Guineas.

Named after St James’s Palace, a royal residence during Tudor times, the race was first run in 1834 – to general apathy. Only one horse entered.

Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 3 wins (1997, 2016, 2018)
Current leading trainer: Aidan O’Brien, 8 wins (2000-12, 2007-09, 2015, 2019)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

/

Circus Maximus gives Aidan O'Brien eighth triumphj

Circus Maximus showed his adaptability when dropping back in trip to land the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Last seen finishing sixth in the Investec Derby at Epsom, the Galileo colt needed to be supplemented at a cost of £45,000 for the Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Series contest over a mile.

Having won the Dee Stakes over an extended 10 furlongs before his tilt at Classic glory, it was seen as a bold move by Aidan O’Brien running him over half a mile less.

Wearing blinkers for the first time, Ryan Moore was happy to take a lead off Fox Champion before making his bid for home with two furlongs to run.

As Irish Guineas winner Phoenix Of Spain dropped away, the favourite Too Darn Hot became embroiled in a battle with Circus Maximus (10-1).

Having seen off last year’s champion juvenile, it was his John Gosden-trained stablemate King Of Comedy who flew home to get closest at the line, but Circus Maximus held on by a neck, with Too Darn Hot three-quarters of a length away in third.

O’Brien said: “Derrick (Smith), John (Magnier) and Michael (Tabor) all decided between themselves (to run in this race) and at 11.45am (on the day of supplementary entries) they let us know that they were thinking of doing this and we ran with it.

“It’s hard to believe and we’re just privileged to be a small part of it. It was a big challenge for the horse and it was a very difficult one to deal with – coming back (in trip) like that – and that’s why he had the blinkers on, because he didn’t have much time to learn.”

He added: “We always thought he was a very good horse and he wasn’t beaten far in the Racing Post Trophy last year. He was a green horse that was rushed as a two-year-old.

“He went to Chester and won the trial and then he went to Epsom and Frankie (Dettori) said he didn’t handle the track, so that is why we came back to a mile. Ryan gave him a great ride.

“In all fairness to the horse we pitched him in and asked him a difficult question. We always thought a mile and a mile and a quarter was his trip, even though we ran him in the Derby.

“I think you have a choice of the Sussex or Eclipse and both would be strong possibles.

A philosophical Gosden said: “One ran out of track and the other found the mile too stiff. Too Darn Hot ran a very good race, came to win his race and got in front. He’s built very powerfully. He looks like a sprinter/miler.

“Frankie (Dettori) said he feels like a Jersey horse and that’s what he is. He was champion two-year-old, won the Dewhurst in great style, but stamina wasn’t for him today.”

He added of King Of Comedy: “Adam (Kirby) said it was a pity he had to go round. Another 25 yards and he could have won.

“It’s interesting. King Of Comedy will go a mile and a quarter, whereas Too Darn Hot needs an easy mile or seven furlongs. The Sussex Stakes will be his target.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
{position} {ownerName}

The Course

British horseracing can lay claim to plenty of blue-blooded connections, but none rival those of Ascot. The Berkshire racecourse’s roots go back 300 years to Queen Anne, who recognised the potential of a stretch of heath land while out riding just a few miles from Windsor Castle.

The royal link has endured ever since. Today, Queen Elizabeth II and members of the Royal Family attend the world-famous ‘Royal Ascot’ meeting each year, arriving in a horse drawn carriage. Royal Ascot, meanwhile, has earned iconic status as a centrepiece of the social calendar, when the world’s best thoroughbreds face fierce competition from the world’s most extravagant fashion designs.

Ascot, which underwent a £200 million redevelopment between 2004-6, also hosts the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by QIPCO in July, the most prestigious open-age Flat race staged in Britain.

It will also host the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day in October which will be the richest raceday ever staged in Britain with over £4.2m in prize money and the climax to the QIPCO British Champions Series.  Including the five category finales on QIPCO British Champions Day, Ascot stages no less than 13 of the 35 QIPCO British Champions Series races.

What sort of horses like Ascot? Horses that like right-handed courses. And what sort of people? People who like champagne and scones, apparently. During the five-day Royal Ascot meeting in 2010, 60,000 bottles of champagne and 40,000 scones were consumed. Lobsters, meanwhile, don’t like Royal Ascot – 1,500 of them were eaten over that same period.

Getting there

Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 7JX

View on Google Maps

View fixtures

@ChampionsSeries