Tuesday 19th June, 4:20 – Royal Ascot – 1m (7f 213y) (Rnd) St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Colts) (Class 1) (3yo)
The St James’s Palace Stakes was established in 1834 and is named after St James’s Palace which was a Royal residence during the Tudor period. The race is open to three year old colts and generally attracts horses who have previously run in the 2,000 Guineas, the Irish 2,000 Guineas or the French equivalent, the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.
When the current grading system was introduced in 1971 the race was allocated Group 2 status and was elevated to Group 1 level in 1988.
This is a good race for horses at the top of the betting as in 11 of the last 12 renewals a horse in the first three in the betting has won the race. In fact eight of the last 12 winners have been sent off as favourite or joint favourite.
Winning form over 1 mile is important with 10 of the last 12 winners having won at least once over the distance, while 11 of the last 12 winners had won at least twice and nine had won at least three times on the Flat although not necessarily over 1 mile. Recent winning form is also a good pointer with 10 of the last 12 winners having won previously earlier in the season.
Horses who ran in the 2,000 Guineas and Irish 2,000 Guineas have a good recent record in the race with 18 and 15 of the last 24 winners respectively. Horses who ran in both events have won 14 of the last 23 renewals of the St James’s Palace Stakes. Since 1998 only one horse who contested the British, Irish or French versions of the 2,000 Guineas and finished outside of the first four places has gone on to win here and 12 of the last 18 winners had won on of the European Classics.
Look out for horses who have previous winning form at Ascot as the four who had previously won at the course were also successful in the St James’s Palace Stakes.
An Official Rating of at least 115 has been required to win the race nine times in the last 12 renewals and horses with at least one previous win at Group 1 level have won nine of the last 12 renewals.
The Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Romanised looks to have good claims in the race. The three year old Bay Colt won on his racecourse debut at Navan last April, but his win in the Irish Classic was only his second win in six career starts and his second start in a Group 1 event. Previously he had finished second in a Group 2 and been unplaced in Group and Listed races.
However, he displayed his talent in very fetching style at The Curragh in the Guineas in the same Good to Firm ground he will encounter at Royal Ascot. He was slowly into his strike and last at halfway. Soon pushed along he made progress and was fifth entering the final furlong where he kept on strongly under pressure, taking the lead inside the last 100 yards going on to win by 2¼ lengths. Running off an Official Rating of 119 at Ascot he had two Aidan O’Brien runners, U S Navy Flag and Gustav Klimt who reoppose, behind him at The Curragh.
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Tony Ward is a keen follower of horseracing and provides readers of EclipseMagazine.co.uk with betting tips and explanations of that complicated pastime. Please note, Tony’s tips are his opinion only and you follow them at your own risk.