Palace Pier continued his outstanding 2021 flat season with a dominant run at Royal Ascot to claim the Queen Anne Stakes. John and Thady Gosden’s charge finished one-and-a-half lengths ahead of his nearest rival Lope Y Fernandez to take his place in the most prestigious of winners’ circles.
It was the second time in two years that Palace Pier had triumphed at Royal Ascot. The four-year-old enjoyed success at Ascot last season in June when he secured the St James’s Palace Stakes. He has continued his rise in 2021 and looks poised for further glory in major events during the campaign.
Palace Pier will be of particular interest for bettors in the USA, who will be monitoring the British horse racing results before he makes the move across to the States for a crack at the Breeders’ Cup Mile. There will be fierce competition from the leading American thoroughbreds in the field along with the best from Europe, therefore, Palace Pier will have to remain at the peak of his powers.
Goden’s charge still has challenges remaining in the UK flat season to retain his focus. The Coral-Eclipse is the next race that will be on the docket at Sandown Racecourse. There will be no shortage of quality competitors, including his stable-mate Mishriff and Snowfall.
However, Palace Pier could have a stronger case than his rivals to emerge with the victory. In his first race of the 2021 campaign, the four-year-old delivered an outstanding performance at Sandown in the bet365 Mile. He was the overwhelming favorite for the event, and he duly delivered by blowing away the rest of the field to win by the race by eight lengths.
The four-year-old was the leading contender in his next outing at Newbury Racecourse in the Lockinge Stakes. On this occasion, the field pressed him slightly harder, but Frankie Dettori in the saddle was always comfortable and steered his charge over the line well ahead of his nearest rival. As a result, Palace Pier was in prime touch heading into Royal Ascot.
Expectations were high for Gosden’s charge for the Queen Anne Stakes. He did not disappoint with a flawless performance to triumph, and now has the opportunity to build on his prime form for the rest of the campaign. Gosden has a proud history at the Eclipse, winning the race on four occasions. He won successive races with Roaring Lion and Enable in 2018 and 2019. Therefore, the trainer will be optimistic about putting one of his leading charges forward for glory.
The Breeders’ Cup Mile is not a race that trainers in the UK are overly familiar with, although there have been recent wins for Aidan O’Brien and Michael Stoute. Gosden has yet to break his duck in the event, but with the talent of Palace Pier at his disposal, he could be on course for a triumph in the prestigious race.
Palace Pier still has a lot to prove over the remainder of the UK flat season, but it certainly could be one to remember for Gosden and his owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum if delivers on his potential.