St James’s Palace Stakes Tips, Free Bets and Odds
The third of three Group 1 contests on a sparkling opening day at the Royal Ascot festival is the St James’s Palace Stakes. We have the best odds, offers and betting tips all covered here.
Held at Ascot since back in 1834, this one mile Group 1 contest for the three year old colts is one of the most prestigious races of the season, offering a total of £400,000 in prize money.
St James’s Palace Stakes Ante Post Tips and Betting Offers, 4:20 at Royal Ascot, 18 June 2019
The St James’s Palace Stakes is the last of three Group 1 races on Day One of Royal Ascot. Run over an exact distance of 7 furlongs 213 yards, the race is chance for some of the leading three-year-old milers around to take centre stage and show what they’re capable of.
Can Phoenix Of Spain Remain at the Top Level?
Too Darn Hot was the real star of last year’s juvenile division. He looked to have the world at his feet after excelling as a two-year-old but connections were frustrated when a setback cost him the chance to compete in the 2000 Guineas. That setback meant his failure to win the Dante Stakes was forgivable but his performance in the Irish 2000 Guineas means he now has a lot to prove.
Those who are remaining steadfast in their support for Too Darn Hot will say that he travelled well at the Curragh and that the lack of time to recover from York robbed him of what he needed to finish strongly. Many more people will say that Too Darn Hot just couldn’t live with Phoenix Of Spain.
Charlie Hills’ colt wasn’t supposed to be able to live with Too Darn Hot or 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia. He was sent off at 16/1 but made a mockery of those odds with a performance of the highest calibre. That win was the most eye catching of any of this year’s three-year-olds and he certainly has not been missed by the bookies this time around. Phoenix Of Spain is the worthy favourite for the St James’s Palace Stakes and has been well backed at 2/1 with BetVictor.
French Raider Must Rate a Danger
The French 2000 Guineas has produced some strong contenders for the St James’s Palace Stakes over the years and has done so again with Shaman rightly seeing support at 11/1 with Paddy Power. Carlos Laffon-Parias’ colt didn’t win the big race at Longchamp but Persian King was a very strong favourite at 1/2 and there was no shame in finishing second.
Indeed, Shaman jumped out of the stalls so could have been closer to the winner at Longchamp. Making enough of an improvement to win this is unlikely but a place most certainly is not.
Phoenix Of Spain turned heads with the nature of his win at the Curragh and has good form on both good and soft ground so the rain over the last couple of weeks will not be of concern. As with any younger horse, the concern is whether or not he’ll be able to run quite so well again but the 2/1 that BetVictor are quoting looks a fair enough price to find out. Something similar is true for Shaman even if an each way bet is the best option at 11/1 with Paddy Power.
- 2018 – Without Parole – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer John Gosden
- 2017 – Barney Roy – jockey James Hoyle trainer, Richard Hannon, Jr.
- 2016 – Galileo Gold – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer Hugo Palmer
- 2015 – Gleneagles – jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2014 – Kingman – jockey James Doyle, trainer John Gosden
- 2013 – Dawn Approach – jockey Kevin Manning, trainer Jim Bolger
- 2012 – Most Improved – jockey Kieren Fallon, trainer Brian Meehan
- 2011 – Frankel – jockey Tom Queally, trainer Sir Henry Cecil
- 2010 – Canford Cliffs – jockey Richard Hughes, trainer Richard Hannon, Sr.
- 2009 – Mastercraftsman – jockey Johnny Murtagh, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2008 – Henrythenavigator – jockey Johnny Murtagh, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2007 – Excellent Art – jockey Jamie Spencer, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2006 – Araafa – jockey Alan Munro, trainer Jeremy Noseda
St James’s Palace Stakes History
Regal sounding race titles unsurprisingly provide a common thread throughout the five days of the Royal meeting at Ascot. This one lends its name from a residence in London which is used by members of the Royal family to this day.
Plenipotentiary didn’t have to do much to take the £850 prize on offer for the inaugural running back in 1834 as no one turned up to take that years Derby winner on. Both the prize money and challenge have increased considerably since, with the race now worth £400,000 and invariably being hotly contested by the best three year old milers in training.
Whilst this has always been a big race, it has not always been won by a big horse. The modern definition of a pony is a horse measuring less than 14.2 hands. That makes diminutive Daniel O’Rourke a horse, but only just as he measured exactly 14.2 hands. A testament to the old adage that good things do sometimes come in small packages, Daniel O’Rourke conquered his more substantial foes not just here, but also in the Derby of 1852, despite often being mistaken for a pony.
Moving into the 20th century and we begin to see the names of a number of racing legends appear on the roll of honour. Sceptre is the only horse ever to win four English classics and took this in 1902. Tudor Minstrel and Brigadier Gerard meanwhile are rarely out of the top five in lists of the all-time greatest horses and won this in 1947 and 1971 respectively.
Since the race was granted Group 1 status in 1988 the stream of top notch winners has continued unabated. With the teak tough Giant’s Causeway, world record setting Rock Of Gibraltar and classic winners Henrythenavigator, Dawn Approach and Gleneagles all tasting success here. However the greatest winner in the races’ history was still to come.
The 2011 winner here came from the opposite end of the thoroughbred scale to the pint sized Daniel O’Rourke. Mighty in both stature and performance, Sir Henry Cecil’s Frankel is officially the highest rated racehorse of all time and counts a win here amongst his 14 career triumphs.
Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien didn’t get his name on the scoresheet here until the year 2000, but by 2009 had won the race six times in a remarkable period of domination. With Gleneagles adding to that haul in 2015, O’Brien stands alone at the top of the trainers list on seven wins.
Michael Kinane partnered a number of top class performers in the twilight of his career including Giant’s Causeway, Rock Of Gibraltar and Azamour, who all won here, helping Kinane to a record total of six wins in the race.