Palace Pier
Palace Pier © Steven Cargill/

Third Group 1 for Palace Pier

Palace Pier (Kingman) cruised to his third Gr.1 win in the Lockinge Stakes on Saturday (15th May).

Taken from the Thoroughbred Daily News, 16th May 2021:

The son of Kingman was hot property for the race as the 1-2 favourite following his eight-length comeback success in the Gr.2 Sandown Mile (23rd April).  Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum's Gr.1 St James's Palace Stakes and Gr.1 Prix Jacques le Marois hero travelled typically smoothly in the early stages despite ending up towards the rear after receiving an early bump. In the event, the normally laid-back dude could have afforded his mostly outclassed rivals even more of a headstart as he was on their case with uncharacteristic alacrity as soon as Frankie moved in the saddle approaching three out. Once his jockey had indulged in two lengthy glances behind and to his left, Palace Pier was off and away and by the two pole. At the line, there was a comfortable one and a half length to Lady Bowthorpe while the progressive and smart yardstick Top Rank was five and a half lengths away in third and clear of the main pack.

"What he did between the three and the one was mindboggling," commented Dettori. "He usually hits a flat spot, but he just took off today and was just a bit bored in front." He added: "These kind of horses don't come along very often. This is what champions can do, they make other horses look moderate and pass them like they are standing still. It's an amazing feeling and a nice surprise. He took five lengths out of the field and was in front a long way out with a headwind."

Dettori is convinced he can do more. "He is 100% up there with the best milers I've ridden, but he's probably got to win another couple of Group 1s to say he's the best."

Winning trainer John Gosden said: "He relaxed well in the race and having been a little bit squeezed leaving the gate, Frankie said he got back further than he wanted. He came through very nicely and had to go, then he got a little bit lonely looking around in front having picked those others off so fast. A lot of them do get quicker with age and there's no doubt he accelerated more than Frankie expected, with the filly running a great race to be second. He hasn't been over-raced, so is on an upward curve and I think he would get a mile and a quarter as he relaxes so well."

He added: "With his father, if you told me I had to change his trip I would have brought him back to six for a July Cup - he had that kind of speed - but a change for this horse would mean going up two furlongs. We'll see, but it's pretty obvious at this stage to go for the [Gr.1] Queen Anne [at Royal
Ascot] and think about it after that. I could see the [Gr.1] Juddmonte International as a very possible target for him, as Royal Ascot to the Eclipse is very tight with 16 days being quite tough if they've had a hard race. Although the Juddmonte would be a strong possibility, there is a little race in France called the Prix Jacques le Marois at the same time, but getting to France is quite difficult now. He has a bundle of class and is a good character like his father. An exciting horse."