The St. James’ Palace Stakes is a Group 1 flat race on day one of the famous Royal Ascot meeting. The contest is open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and is run over a distance of one mile.
The event is named after St. James’s Palace, a royal residence during the Tudor period. It was established in 1834, and the inaugural race was a walkover.
Last year, superstar horse Frankel followed up his magical 2000 Guineas success with victory in rather different fashion in the race at Royal Ascot.
Power is the 5/2 favourite for the St James’s Palace Stakes after his victory in the 2000 Irish Guineas last time, with Aidan O’Brien’s colt having demonstrating brilliant acceleration at the Curragh to reel back Daddy Long Legs and Wrote.
9/1 chance Hermival was an impressive third in the Newmarket 2000 Guineas, showing a decent turn of foot to pull clear on his side of the course only to be beaten by Camelot and French Fifteen who had raced in the main body of the field.
He was well fancied for the Irish 2000 Guineas off the back of that performance but the ground was too fast for the son of Dubawi, who never looked quite at home on the surface and he finished down the field. It remains to be seen what he can do if he races in the St. James’, with there being some doubt over his participation after returning sore from the Curragh.
8/1 chance Lucayan is currently on a hat-trick, and will try his best to claim a victory in the contest this year. The bay colt dominated at Longchamp, when he succeeded in the Group 1 Poule D’Essai Des Poulains, and defeated the B. De Montzey trained Veneto.
Our tip, however, is Born To Sea – available at around the 9/1 mark. The half-brother to the 2009 champion three-year-old Sea The Stars failed to shine in both the English and Irish 2000 Guineas.
But he finished with real purpose when fifth to Power in the latter Classic at the Curragh and trainer John Oxx reports him to be in fine shape for this Group 1 assignment. Born To Sea could well spring a surprise here.