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The St James’s Palace Stakes

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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, 4 wins (1997, 2016, 2018, 2020)
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

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Palace Pier downs Pinatubo in St James’s Palace thriller

The St James’s Palace Stakes lived up to it’s billing on Saturday as Frankie Dettori completed a quick-fire Group 1 double aboard Palace Pier in a thriller at Ascot.

Down the stretch it looked like last year’s Champion two-year-old Pinatubo would land his first victory at three having come third in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at the beginning of the month. William Buick looked to have plenty of horse underneath him three furlongs out as he pushed through traffic to get a clear run.

However, it was not to be as Frankie Dettori delivered a sustained late run down the outside, coming home much the best to grab Pinatubo in the closing stages and assert.

QIPCO 2000 Guineas 2nd Wichita was game in third and looked to be rallying late on.

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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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.

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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

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