Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s Palace Pier (GB) became the first horse to win the Prix Du Haras De Fresnay-Le-Buffard Jacques le Marois (G1) in successive years since Spinning World in 1997.
The win gave him his second “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series of 2021, having won the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot in June. The son of Kingman (GB) has an automatic starting position and fees paid into this year’s $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile presented by PDJF (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 84 stakes races where the winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California on Nov. 5-6.
Palace Pier By a Neck
Palace Pier, trained by John & Thady Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori, travelled up on the outside of the field and showed a sparkling turn of foot to go clear of his seven rivals before having to withstand a strong challenge from QIPCO 2000 Guineas (G1) hero Poetic Flare (IRE) in the final furlong to hold on by a neck. The defending FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) champion, Order of Australia (IRE), was a further 1 ¾ lengths back in third.
After completing the mile in 1:35.96 over a course listed as good, Palace Pier was cut to 7/4 with Unibet for the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile in November. John Gosden speaking after the race, said: “I thought it was a very clean race. They went a sensible pace. They quickened from 600 meters out and so it was a test of speed and he’s done it well. He’s a gorgeous and lovely horse to be around. He’s got this amazing cruising speed and acceleration. I’ve made no secret that he was ill. He had a blood disorder and missed the Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) and we’ve come here on the absolute minimum amount of work. He’s probably come here at 80% and as Frankie (Dettori) said, his class has got him through. He’s having a strong blow after, so he was probably 10 days short of work, but they weren’t going to move the Jacques Le Marois!”
Palace Pier Wins Jacques Le Marois
Gosden indicated that QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in October could be next for the five-time Group 1 winner.
“We’ll now wait until Champions Day and go either for the 1-mile QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) or perhaps the 1 ¼ mile QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1).”
When asked if the Breeders’ Cup could be on the agenda for the son of Kingman (GB), Gosden replied: “November is a long way off! Del Mar is a track I’m very fond of and I had a lot of success there and have a lot of good friends there, but that’s a long way down the road at the moment.”
Seven Have Earned Breeders’ Cup Mile Berths
Palace Pier was already a winner of the “Win and You’re In” Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot in June and is one of seven horses this year to have gained a “Win and You’re In” berth for the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile. Jet Dark (SAF), winner of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1) in South Africa, Succeso (CHI) who claimed the Gran Premio Club Hipico Falabella (G1) in Chile, Smooth Like Strait who won the Shoemaker Mile (G1), Danon Kingly (JPN) who captured the Yasuda Kinen (G1) in Japan, Alcohol Free (IRE) who stormed clear in the Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) and Got Stormy who yesterday won the Fourstardave (G1), are the other six.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Palace Pier to start in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile, which will be run at a mile on the Del Mar turf course. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 25 to receive the rewards.