Queen Elizabeth II Suggestions: We pick our greatest guess for Saturday’s Group 1 showpiece at Ascot.
Steve Chambers previews Saturday’s hotly-anticipated renewal of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, which sees the unbeaten Palace Pier line up because the red-hot favorite within the Ascot Group 1 on British Champions Day…
It could have been a Flat season remembered with a tinge of disappointment with racecourses awash with empty grandstands due to the Coronavirus pandemic forcing racing behind closed doorways, however the 2020 marketing campaign has served up some memorable tales, and the ultimate chapter will likely be written at Ascot on Saturday afternoon.
British Champions Day will appeal to the elite equine skills, all bidding for one closing victory this season, and one of many function races is the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, which is a one-mile contest that has been received by such superstars as Brigadier Gerard, Dubai Millennium and Frankel.
John Gosden’s Palace Pier heads into the race with an ideal report, as 5 wins from 5 races has rocketed him into the highlight this season, and the three-year-old son of Kingman has been put in as an odds-on favorite for the competition. A massively spectacular one-length winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, Gosden’s colt will return to that venue to try to notch up a second profession Group 1 on the Berkshire venue.
Handed a visit to France for his most up-to-date begin, Palace Pier was a cushty winner of the Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois, the place he beat Alpine Star by three quarters of a size. Given a break of a few months by Gosden, Palace Pier will look to proceed his unbeaten streak and preserve his 100% report and receiving weight from a few of his older rivals, he appears the one to beat if he can reproduce the identical kind he has proven this season.
On the time of writing, the going is tender, heavy in locations, so Palace Pier might effectively need to take care of testing situations, however he received the aforementioned Prix Jacques Le Marois on heavy floor, which means the underfoot situations should not pose too many issues, so it is onerous to select holes within the race favorite, and he is entitled to be a heat order.
Palace Pier makes it 4 races unbeaten – he stays on powerfully to win the St James’s Palace Stakes 👀
What per week for Gosden and Dettori! 👏
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Palace Pier will face some stylish opposition, with the Andrew Balding-trained traditional winner Kameko wanting as the most important hazard in accordance with the betting. An outstanding winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in the beginning of the season, Kameko then suffered a string of defeats, with fourth-placed finishes within the Derby, Sussex Stakes and Juddmonte Worldwide, however he gained a confidence-boosting success within the Group 2 Joel Stakes at Newbury final month.
A half a size winner of that contest, Kamekoacquired the higher of Regal Actuality and Benbatl, and the latter of that duo will look to reverse the shape when taking his probability this weekend. Nonetheless, Kameko, who seems to be working over his optimum journey of a mile can frank that kind with the Godolphin raider, who appears to be up towards it and Balding’s cost will look to down Palace Pier. However, whereas Palace Pier has been a mannequin of consistency this season, Kameko has disenchanted at occasions, so whereas he’s a category act on his day he might effectively come unstuck towards a confirmed prime notch performer in Palace Pier, who can win the duel of the three-year-olds.
Seven of the final ten runnings of the race have been received by three-year-olds, who profit from a 3 lb benefit over their older rivals. The older brigade are spearheaded by five-year-old The Revenant, who completed an excellent second to King Of Change on this race 12 months in the past, and the French son of Dubawi will likely be seeking to go one higher right here. Hovering across the 6/1 mark on the time of writing, The Revenantwas final seen successful a Group 2 at Longchamp earlier this month, however that was his first begin since his run within the QEII final yr, so whereas he’ll strip fitter for the run, it is onerous to see him having sufficient to down some extra race-fit rivals, who’re doubtlessly enhance, so the European contender may be ignored.
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With Palace Pier showing to be a reduce above his rivals, it appears like the remainder of the sphere will likely be vying to bag each-way spots, and whereas the Queen Anne Stakes winner Circus Maximus has proven that he can reduce it at Group 1 degree at Ascot, his greatest performances for this season could also be previous him.
Two at larger costs which might be worthy of a point out are the Simon & Ed Crisford-trained Century Dream and Sir Michael Stoute’s Veracious. The previous was seventh on this race 12 months in the past, so has proven that he can not less than put up a daring effort on the highest degree, and having received the Diomed Stakes and Celebration Mile this season, the six-year-old exhibits he is in fantastic coronary heart this season. Nonetheless, he disenchanted final day out when effectively fancied for the Boomerang Mile in Eire, and he might solely end fifth, so he might want to bounce again significantly to play a main position her.
Veraciouscould also be as massive as 33/1 for this contest, on the time of writing, however the Stoute mare has completed fourth twice and third on her three earlier visits to Ascot, so she has proven she will carry out with credit score on the observe. A Group 1 winner of the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket earlier within the season highlights her class, however that did come on good to agency floor. Slower situations are anticipated on the weekend, however her final go to to Ascot was on this race 12 months in the past, the place she completed fourth behind King Of Change, and this yr’s renewal might lack vital power in depth.
She is prone to discover one or two too good on the day with Palace Pier wanting a great factor, however at 33/1 she is value a speculative each-way play in a race that’s broad open behind the red-hot jolly and Stoute, who received this race 3 times within the Nineteen Eighties, can unleash one other eye-catching runner within the form of his five-year-old mare Veracious, who appears an fascinating runner.
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Ascot, Saturday seventeenth October – again Veracious each-way at 33/1
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