Palace Pier is one of the best horses in the world says Frankie Dettori
Talk of penalties during a major football tournament is enough to unsettle followers of certain national teams but when it came to an apparent penalty kick for Palace Pier in the Queen Anne there were no such concerns for Frankie Dettori.
As if the jockey’s confidence was not high enough riding an odds-on favourite in the first race of the week, Dettori had total belief that a golden opportunity to make a winning start would not be wasted.
“You can rely on him — he’s like getting one of the proper guys to take the first penalty and he puts it in the back of the net,” said Dettori, perhaps not fully appreciating that for a long time such an occurrence was rare for the national team of his adopted homeland.
“It makes a big difference as I’ve got lots of good rides this week and it takes the pressure off. He’s a beautiful looking specimen and he’s a great partner to have in these races. He should take all the credit.”
There were plenty giving Palace Pier credit in the run-up to the race, such was the dominance he had shown in two races this season on going easier than the good to firm ground he took on at Ascot.
Members can watch the Queen Anne Stakes replay here
Indeed, with the royal procession dropped due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed the early appearance of 2-7 favourite Palace Pier on the hallowed turf, with Ascot royalty in the saddle, would be an adequate replacement for the carriages.
As it turned out, the race was less of a procession and more just a case of making sure you get home in good time for kick off. Palace Pier never really looked in danger, despite being niggled to take command rather than breezing through, and was ridden out by Dettori to defeat Lope Y Fernandez and Sir Busker. It was a win good enough for Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook to shorten him to 4-5 favourite (from 2-1) for the Qatar Sussex Stakes next month.
Dettori celebrated as he crossed the line, leapt into the air in the winner’s enclosure and revelled in the crowd being back — many to simply see him — as he secured a seventh win in a race he first won with Markofdistinction to break his Royal Ascot duck in 1990.
“I’m just reflecting on 31 years ago when I rode my first Royal Ascot winner in the Queen Anne,” said Dettori, 50. “So much water has passed under the bridge but I’m still getting the same kick and I’m really relieved it went smoothly. He’s one of the best horses in the world and you want everything to go right, and it did.”
Like Dettori, the Queen Anne provided a first win at the meeting for Thady Gosden, joint-trainer of the winner with his father John, who was also landing the race for the first time.
“I was second in it three times – it took Thady to get me over the line,” said John Gosden. “When you’re odds-on like that it would be a bit odd if you weren’t nervous, because the only thing around the corner is the banana skin, so it can happen, but I think Frankie was aware there would be no pace and he just asserted early.
“He’s done it very smoothly. He’s come through, won his race, but he’s exactly like his father [Kingman], as soon as he gets there he’s done enough, and if I worked him at home with a very ordinary horse he would just stay with him – that’s his game.”
Where Palace Pier plays the game next is up for discussion, with the Gosdens set to discuss it with owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed before deciding where to spot the ball for the next penalty attempt — be it over a mile or a mile and a quarter.
“You saw how relaxed he was. He cantered down to start like tomorrow would do,” John Gosden said. “He’s in races like the Juddmonte International but also the Sussex Stakes and the Prix Jacques Le Marois. I’ll speak with the owner and we’ll make a plan. All options are open and he’ll have no problem staying further.” (font : RacingPost)
Oxted Defeats Battaash in King’s Stand
Brendan Walsh-trained Extravagant Kid finished third in group 1 sprint.
Late money forced Oxted down from 8-1 to 4-1 and it proved to be a well-founded gamble as Cieren Fallon calmly plotted his way to a first Royal Ascot success in the King’s Stand Stakes (G1), the most furious race of the week.
Battaash was also heavily supported as the clock ticked down to off time and supporters would have been salivating as Jim Crowley surged to the front.
But on his first start since last season’s Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (G1), Battaash wandered towards the rail to finish a tired fourth, leaving Oxted to weave through runners and win going away, Fallon allowing himself the luxury of a punch of the air several strides before the line.
Arecibo also charged home late to be second for Robert Cowell at 28-1, with United States challenger Extravagant Kid grabbing third as an 8-year-old.
Oxted’s win was a huge result for trainer Roger Teal, who has built his stable star back up after trying him on the dirt in Saudi Arabia in January.
“It’s a dream come true, a group 1 at Royal Ascot,” said Fallon. “All credit to Roger, Harry, Sue, and the team back home.
“I’ve been very blessed, very lucky to sit on a horse like this so early in my career. Harry (Teal, son and assistant to Roger) does all the hard work behind the scenes, I’m very lucky to sit on him on a racetrack.”
Fallon stood himself down after a fall to miss Oxted’s return on home soil at Newmarket, and then missed the chance to reunite the partnership when quarantining in France for the ride aboard The Lir Jet as part of his retainer for Qatar Racing, a trip that was ultimately fruitless as the horse was not declared for the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains (G1).
Fallon said: “It’s part and parcel of racing. I went there to ride in the Guineas, it’s a big race as well. I missed riding this lad but it come good today and that’s the main thing. I’m glad to get back on board and all credit to the owners to have faith and put me back on board.
“I got a lovely trip, they went a real solid gallop early on, and I didn’t panic. Normally he can be quite keen but they’ve gone hard, I’ve just given him his head, let him get into a nice rhythm and just picked them up when I’ve needed to. He’s shown that the July Cup (G1) wasn’t a fluke, he’s a proper group 1 horse.”
Fallon added: “It means a lot to me, all my family, and my friends. I’ve got so much support around me, my boss Mr. Haggas, Sheikh Fahad, I’m just so blessed to have all the people around me to help, motivate, and encourage me.”
The Teal family were caught on camera roaring home Oxted by his stable nickname Fenton, a moniker which Roger explains came from the viral video of a man and his wayward hound.
“It’s named after that dog around Richmond Park, when that guy was shouting Fenton!” said Teal. “I said the next horse that came in the yard would be called Fenton. So we were all roaring it.”
Teal was at pains to point out that he never lost faith in Oxted, who was beaten by Summerghand in the bet365 Abernant Stakes (G3) and then finished third to Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1) favorite Starman in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (G2).
“It’s unbelievable, dreams come true you know, and this horse has been such a wonderful servant for us,” said Teal.
“I spoke to the owners and said if we were ever going to try five it would have to be at Ascot, on that stiff five. I didn’t even enter for the Diamond Jubilee, we made our mind up a long time ago what race we were going for. After two furlongs I was a bit dubious, I won’t lie to you, but once he got to halfway and kicked on his stamina came through and he was very impressive.” (font : Bloodhorse.com)
Poetic Flare underlines stallion credentials with St James’s Palace Stakes romp
Son of Dawn Approach gives Jim Bolger a third homebred Group 1 success in 2021
Poetic Flare stamped his stallion credentials in no uncertain terms as a deeply impressive display in the St James’s Palace Stakes saw Jim Bolger’s homebred land his second Group 1 of the season.
The son of another Bolger homebred in Dawn Approach had already emulated his sire when winning the Qipco 2,000 Guineas and, following highly creditably efforts in the French and Irish equivalents of the Classic, repeated the feat by landing Royal Ascot’s premier three-year-old Group 1 prize.
Bolger’s involvement with Poetic Flare’s family traces back to the great granddam Saviour, a daughter of Majestic Light foaled in 1987 who also went on to breed Teofilo’s dam Speirbhean. Saviour also produced Elida, a winning daughter of Royal Academy who in turn bred Poetic Flare’s dam, Maria Lee, when mated with Rock Of Gibraltar.
Bolger’s homebreds have now landed three Group 1s this term, with Poetic Flare’s Curragh conqueror Mac Swiney having won the Irish 2,000 Guineas. However, it was with trademark dry humour that Bolger reflected on his accomplishment as a breeder.
“We’ve bred from the family since the very early 1980s, so a long time,” he told Sky Sports. “When you have a horse winning the St James’s Palace like that you don’t really think about all the relatives and the breeding, you wouldn’t care if he came to you off the back of a truck as long as you had him.”
Dawn Approach retired to Darley’s Irish base at Kildangan Stud in 2014 following his own triumphant three-year-old campaign. However, he had been purchased privately by Godolphin midway through his juvenile campaign having carried the Bolger colours to glory in the Coventry Stakes.
Where Poetic Flare’s future lies remains to be seen, but Tuesday’s success leaves little doubt that he is the hottest three-year-old stallion prospect around. (fonte – RacingPost)