- Sire-Dam -
Many of 2020’s top milers, such as Kameko, Pinatubo, Mohaather and Circus Maximus, have been retired to stud. That can only help make life easier for Palace Pier, who was arguably better than all that quartet and will set the bar high for last campaign’s top two-year-olds.
Palace Pier created a good impression when winning both his starts over 7f as a two-year-old and picked up from where he left off when an emphatic winner on his return over a mile at Newcastle on his return.
WHAT A RACE ?
PALACE PIER and that man Frankie Dettori come home best in a St James’s Palace thriller!pic.twitter.com/jDNmEdZVnG
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) June 20, 2020
The Kingman colt was upped markedly in class a fortnight later when tackling the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot but was equal to the task, staying on strongly under Frankie Dettori to overhaul Pinatubo and Wichita in the closing stages.
Dettori said: “We threw him in at the deep end today, but in the back of our minds we knew that there was a good horse in that big body, and we just were not sure how much of a good horse he was. Today was no fluke.
“Palace Pier is so laidback that he could probably reach a mile and a quarter, but a mile at the moment is pretty much what he wants. When you have got a good horse, he is easy to place and I am sure John will have a good plan for him. He is a Group One-winning son of Kingman and we can think of the future with excitement.”
Gosden explained why he missed the Guineas. “I think it would have been madness to put a horse into a 2000 Guineas with no experience of that kind of level of competition.
“When you get a little injury, not a big one, but enough to finish his season. If you go to a Dewhurst or Jean-Luc Lagardere that’s fine as you’ve had the experience, but you can’t go into a Guineas off a novice event.
“Palace Pier is a lovely horse and we knew he would really like the track. Consequently, we were keen to bring him here after Newcastle. Luckily that race fitted in and it set him up for this.”
Palace Pier followed up in, the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville and was 8-11 favourite to retain his unbeaten record – and complete a notable Group 1 hat-trick – in the QIPCO-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions Day. He was not at his best in finishing third to The Revenant but time may show that afternoon was merely a bump in the road.