Frankie Dettori was in unstoppable form as he continued his winning spree with the John Gosden-trained Palace Pier in the St James’s Palace Stakes.
Much of the pre-race attention was focused on Pinatubo, who suffered a shock defeat in the 2000 Guineas earlier this month but was sent off favourite to regain the winning thread.
William Buick settled the market leader at the back of the pack in what transpired to be a fairly tactical affair, with Guineas second Wichita trying to make every yard under Ryan Moore.
Threat briefly looked like taking a hand in the finish with a couple of furlongs to run, but his effort petered out as Pinatubo and Palace Pier came flying down the outside.
Palace Pier (4-1) kept finding for pressure in the dying strides and just edged out Pinatubo, with Wichita sticking on gamely for third on the rail.
The Italian said: “We’ve always thought a lot of him, but he’s been a bit sleepy in the mornings and we were scratching our heads.
“It was very hard to even get him fit and John thought he’d send him to Newcastle for a handicap to wake him up and it did.
“We threw him in the deep end today, but we knew in the back of our minds he was a good horse in a big body – we just weren’t sure how good he was.
“I went wide, round the whole field and he galloped out good. It looked like the Guineas form stood up and he showed me today potentially what I thought he was going to be. He’s so laid back he could probably get 10 furlongs, but at the moment a mile is what he wants and I’m sure John will have a plan.”
He added: “To equal Pat Eddery’s record of 73 (Royal Ascot winners) is special. I sat next to him for 15 years, he was one of my heroes, his nickname was God so it gives me great satisfaction.”
Source : Sky Sports