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St James's Palace Stakes

Right Royal Revelry


Right Royal Revelry

By contrast with the spotlight on New York’s Belmont racetrack on the weekend, where Creator (by Tapit) ensured that all three legs of the American Triple Crown would be won by a different horse, the European theatre has been half-lit since the Derby, while the stagehands shift the scenery from Epsom to Ascot.




Sent off the strongly supported 8-11 favorite to avenge his defeat by Night of Thunder (Ire) (Dubawi) in the Gr.1 2000 Guineas, Kingman (GB) (Invincible Spirit) delivered a swift and decisive blow to that rival to win the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes with real authority on a day for the class acts at Royal Ascot.




Dawn Approach wins the St james's Palace Stakes
Dawn Approach wins the St james's Palace Stakes

Watch Dawn Approach winning the St James’s Palace Stakes

(Image : RTE - Footage : At The Races UK)


Ascot, Turf, 1609m

18 June 2013

Just 17 days since his blow-out in the G1 Epsom Derby, Godolphin’s Dawn Approach (Ire) (New Approach) paid the ultimate tribute to the informed guile of his intuitive trainer Jim Bolger when winning the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. After a pulsating war of attrition with the rival who should have been his main threat in the G1 2000 Guineas, Toronado (Ire) (High Chaparral), placed himself back on the mantle that his breeder and conditioner had placed him as early as his G2 Coventry Stakes victory here 12 months ago.

Dawn Approach’s career has been against the grain for most of the way so far, including a surprise debut win for a colt with his pedigree in the opening five-furlong maiden at The Curragh last March followed by his defeat of more precociously-bred rivals in the Coventry at this meeting. While the route was more predictable afterwards as he took the G1 National Stakes at The Curragh and Newmarket’s G1 Dewhurst Stakes and 2000 Guineas, a tilt at the Derby was another diversion from the obvious. Due to his ability to successfully adapt to whatever test he sent to contest, the majority believed that the blue riband was a dream within reach and the answer remains in the ether after he wrecked his opportunity just yards from the start of this one.

Having said he would not be going to Ascot, the Irish maverick u-turned as he had with the colt’s sire ahead of the Derby five years ago, and it was up to the flashy chestnut to provide the justification for that choice and deflect the critique that was certain to come Bolger’s way if failure was the outcome.

For much of the first half of this contest, the tension rose for connections as he teetered on the edge under Kevin Manning once again, but with Leitir Mor (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor) setting the honest sprinter-miler fractions he needs, the extravagance was successfully contained. Following the move of Magician (Ire) (Galileo) as they turned for home, he was the victim of scrimmaging as Glory Awaits (Ire) (Choisir) jinked into the Ballydoyle raider, causing interference to both the winner and patiently-ridden runner-up at the quarter pole. Undeterred, the dominant duo set down for the duel to the line and, although Toronado held a slight edge for a few yards inside the final furlong, it was Dawn Approach who had that extra ounce of reserve.

“The Derby was a big blow to everybody and so disappointing, so to come back and do that is fantastic,” said winning jockey Kevin Manning. “He took a bit of a bite and lit up again, but I arrived there full of running and thought I was going to do it well only for the horse on the inside to come out and catch me in the girth. Once I got my head in front, he was always holding the runner-up. He’s very gutsy and determined and a real battler. He was very impressive in Newmarket and it was a shock at Epsom - I still can’t make head nor tail of it, so have drawn a line through it and moved on. I always felt he was a horse who would go beyond a mile, but we tried it and it didn’t work.”

“The biggest risk is not taking the risk,” commented Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in reference to the Bolger’s late decision to run. “Jim bred the horse and knows the horse very well, so when he decided to run, we all supported him. That proved to me that he’s the best miler in the world.”

Jim Bolger added, “The nature of the sport is that you take chances and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but Sheikh Mohammed was a very willing risk-taker. He’s very tough and hardy and was fortunate to survive that knock. I knew he wouldn’t let me down.”

Extract from Thoroughhbred Daily News




Frankel wins St James's Palace Stakes
Frankel wins St James's Palace Stakes

Click above to watch Frankel winning the St James’s Palace Stakes (Gr1)

(Image : Guardian - Footage : Racing UK)


Royal Ascot, 1600m

14 June 2011

Peerless in the 2000 Guineas, Frankel (GB) (Galileo) offered slightly more hope to his rivals in yesterday’s G1 St James’s Palace Stakes, but was still in command where it mattered to complete the notable double under jockey Tom Queally.

At 3-10, Khalid Abdullah’s unbeaten colt was sent off the shortest-priced favorite since Tudor Minstrel (GB) in 1947 and, after being settled in initially, was asked to lengthen passing halfway. Taking over from his pacemaker Rerouted (Stormy Atlantic) on the turn, he was once again left to chart his own passage up the straight as Zoffany (Ire) (Dansili) closed the margin down to 3/4 of a length.

Frankel’s win was a first in this race for his owner-breeder and a fourth for his trainer Sir Henry Cecil, who now has 73 Royal Ascot triumphs to his name. “Tom said he was very idle in the end, which is good as we can ride a race on him now,” the recently knighted patron of Warren Place said. “Now he’s getting wiser, he thought he’d done enough like he did in the Guineas. Tom said he wasn’t at all tired.”

Already exciting before he came here for the G2 Royal Lodge Stakes in September, Frankel ignited the blue touchpaper in that track-and trip contest when delivering a stellar performance to win by 10 lengths. His mid-race move on the turn set him apart and, after come-from-behind wins in Newmarket’s G1 Dewhurst Stakes in October and Newbury’s G3 Greenham Stakes on his return April 16, waiting tactics were dispensed with a fortnight later.

His monstrous effort in the Newmarket Classic led to an exchange of opinions as to the long-term effect of such forcing tactics, and Cecil was keen to take a step back with the hot-blooded star of the Juddmonte operation. Whereas Rerouted was not quick enough to lead him in the Guineas, this time Michael Hills was away and gone on the pacemaker as Tom Queally restrained Frankel in fourth tracking the peloton’s leader Grand Prix Boss (Jpn) (Sakura Bakushin O). Pushed past that runner with five furlongs still remaining, Frankel immediately began opening up as his rivals punched the panic button in behind. Within a furlong and a half he was in front and, although the final eighth seemed agonisingly long as Zoffany closed in under Ryan Moore, he had already inflicted the damage.

“He jumped a little bit slow and settled better than ever, so I was in a tricky position as no one was inclined to follow Michael Hills,” Queally said. “I thought I’d draw sooner rather than later, and he was running for a long way and was getting fed up in front, as he does it so easy. He’s growing up all the time and he’s more versatile than people think - he doesn’t have to jump and run, and we’ve got options regarding tactics. He’s still the one to beat at the moment.”

For Cecil, the relaxed nature his star colt exuded yesterday means that he can ponder alternative targets now. “He settled very well today and the pacemaker went off quite fast, so Tom had to ask him to take it up,” Cecil commented. “The plan was to do what he did in the Royal Lodge again and go just before the bend. He sprinted away, and the further he went, the better. Now I don’t have to make as much use of him, and as he settles, he could go a mile and a quarter for the G1 Juddmonte International at York August 17, or stay at a mile for the G1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood July 27, but we’ll see. It’s too soon after the race.”

Juddmonte homebred Frankel represents the highly successful cross of Galileo (Ire) over Danehill mares; this year alone, other runners bred on that pattern include Classic winners Golden Lilac (Ire) and Roderic O’Connor (Ire). The unbeaten colt is out of the successful sprinter Kind, whose half-brother Powerscourt (GB) (Sadler’s Wells) was at his best over 10 furlongs and beyond. Kind’s first foal was last year’s G3 Lingfield Derby Trial winner Bullet Train (GB) (Sadler’s Wells). Her 2-year-old Galileo colt, named Noble Mission (GB), is in training with Henry Cecil. The mare has a yearling colt by Oasis Dream (GB) and, after producing a filly by that Banstead Manor stallion in April, was bred back to Galileo May 15 and is believed to be in foal.


Final Result









Tom Queally

Sir Henry Cecil




Ryan Moore

Aidan O’Brien



Exceed and Excel

Adam Kirby

Marco Botti



Oasis Dream

Frankie Dettori

David Lanigan




William Buick

David Simcock




Richard Hughes

Richard Hannon




Paul Hanagan

Richard Fahey



Sakura Bakushin O

Mirco Demuro

Yoshito Yahagi



Stormy Atlantic

Michael Hills

Barry Hills

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News