St James’s Palace Stakes Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 4.20 at Ascot, 19th June 2018
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 Betting Tips
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Best Betting Offers
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St James’s Palace Stakes 2018 Betting Tips and Preview
The Classic generation take centre stage for the St James’s Palace Stakes. The one mile contest generally sees some of the leading contenders from the Guineas do battle and it is not rare to see horses who fluffed their lines in the Classics improve to step up and become Group 1 winners. The quality of the race is highlighted by the fact that the last 10 winners had at least a place in a Group 1 to their name while the bookies generally call the race correctly as nine of the 10 most recent winners were in the top three of the betting.
Without Parole to Break the Classic Trend
Such are the importance of the Classics on the St James’ Palace Stakes that only two of the last 20 winners of the race did not contend either the 1000 or 2000 Guineas. Moreover, you have to go all the way back to 1990 for the last winner who had not already contested a Group 1 in the same season. Those trends don’t make good reading for connections of Without Parole but there are good reasons why he is the bookies’ favourite in Tuesday’s final Group 1.
As a son of Frankel, expectations were always going to be high about Without Parole’s chances of winning at the top level. Those expectations had to be tempered a little given that he made just one appearance on the all weather as a two-year-old and then suffered an injury which kept him out of the 2000 Guineas.
John Gosden must have been disappointed that Without Parole didn’t get a chance at Newmarket but the trainer remained philosophical. Gosden knows that the Classics are not the be all and end all and that many three-year-olds only find their best stuff later into the season. The St James’s Palace Stakes is a big step up in class compared to the two races that Without Parole has won this season but he has a great chance to live up to the billing at a best price of 3/1 with Betfred.
Gustav Klimt Ready to Show What He’s Capable Of
Gustav Klimt was given a big billing ahead of the 2000 Guineas but disappointed connections and those who backed him with a sixth placed finish. He managed to repair some of the damage done to his reputation in the Irish 2000 Guineas where he would have run the winner closer were it not for being bumped in the closing stages.
You get the feeling that the St James’s Palace Stakes is make or break for Gustav Klimt. Another disappointing performance could see him dropped down in trip and out of the Group 1 picture. Follow in the footsteps of several horses who disappointed in the Guineas only to kick on at Royal Ascot however, and Gustav Klimt could go on to be a mainstay of the miling division. It’s a gamble but one that could pay off very nicely at 8/1 with 888Sport.
- 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.