The St. James’s 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.
The present system of race grading was introduced in 1971, and for a period the St. James’s Palace Stakes was classed at Group 2 level. It was promoted to Group 1 status in 1988.
The St. James’s Palace Stakes usually features horses which ran previously in the 2,000 Guineas, the Poule d’Essai des Poulains or the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
Last year, superstar horse Frankel followed up his magical 2000 Guineas success with victory in rather different fashion in the race at Royal Ascot.
Sir Henry Cecil’s brilliant colt galloped his rivals into submission at Newmarket but jockey Tom Queally rode a slightly more conservative race, beating Zoffany at the finish by three quarters of a length, with Excelebration in third.
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.
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.
Lucayan is currently on a hat-trick and will try his best to claim a victory in the contest this year. And Born To Sea finished with real purpose when fifth to Power in the 2000 Guineas at the Curragh, with trainer John Oxx reporting that he is in fine shape for this Group 1 assignment.