PALACE PIER started Royal Ascot 2021 with a bang with a comfortable victory in the Queen Anne Stakes.
The four-year-old son of Kingman – who also won the St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting last season – was the leading three-year-old miler last season and he has picked up where he left off as he cruised to victory in the Group One opener.
Having won at Sandown and then taken the Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on his first two runs of the season, he was a short-priced favourite to confirm his ranking as the leading miler in Europe.
And although the victory was more workmanlike than spectacular, the outcome was rarely in doubt.
Sent off the hot 2-7 favourite, under Frankie Dettori, Palace Pier sat just off the pace before coming through to lead inside the final two furlongs.
He galloped all the way to the line to land an eighth career Group One victory by a length-and-a-half from Aidan O’Brien’s Lope Y Fernandez with Sir Busker (22-1) running well to be third, a further length adfrift.
Dettori was landing his 74th winner at Royal Ascot, overtaking the late Pat Eddery on the roll of honour but way behind the legendary Lester Piggott, who has 116 successes.
The popular Italian produced his famous flying dismount in the winner’s enclosure he knows so well 31 years on from his first ever victory at the Royal meeting, also in the Queen Anne, with Markofdistinction.
Dettori said: “There wasn’t much pace in the race and I had him much further forward than usual.
“I stalked the pace, I had the leaders beat with a furlong and a half to go and then he went a couple of lengths clear and he took it easy with me.” – extracts, Liverpool Echo.