St. James’s Palace Stakes (Ascot) Betting Tips & Preview – Tuesday 20th June 2017

The fourth race of the day at Royal Ascot, and the third Group 1 contest, is the St James’s Palace Stakes. Only three-year-old colts are eligible to feature over the one mile contest and there are eight of them competing in this year’s renewal.

It’s a longstanding race dating back to 1834 with the inaugural race being a walkover for Epsom Derby winner Plenipotentiary. Today it serves as one of the top one mile races of the season, regularly attracting runners who ran in the 2,000 Guineas, Irish 2,000 Guineas or Poule d'Essai des Poulains.

Past Winners/Top Jockeys and Trainers

This has typically been a race for the shortest priced horse as we’ve seen seven favourites crowned champion since 2008.

  1. 2016 – Galileo Gold, ridden by Frankie Dettori, trained by Hugo Palmer
  2. 2015 – Gleneagles, ridden by Ryan Moore, trained by Aidan O’Brien
  3. 2014 – Kingman, ridden by James Doyle, trained by John Gosden
  4. 2013 – Dawn Approach, ridden by Kevin Manning, trained by Jim Bolger
  5. 2012 – Most Improved, ridden by Kieren Fallon, trained by Brian Meehan

Betting Tips

Having won both the 2,000 Guineas and the Irish 2,000 Guineas, it’s no surprise to see Churchill as the strong favourite (4/6 with Sky Bet) to claim another prestigious one mile race. Aidan O’Brien’s horse has won his last seven starts and while not always the flashiest, the bay colt has class in abundance. He has the added benefit of being the only horse on the racecard with a previous win at Ascot, something that will do his chances no harm. With the record favourites have in this race, everything seems to be indicating a Churchill victory but he does have a couple of rivals to worry about.

It would be foolish to write off Barney Roy (5/2 with Betfred) too quickly. Richard Hannon’s horse is less experienced than the race favourite but when the pair met at Newmarket last month, only a length separated them. It’s fair to assume improvements will come from such a lightly raced horse and having a course less undulating than Newmarket will help him out too. With this in mind, he looks like a genuine danger to Churchill and with just a little luck on his side, he could give Richard Hannon his first win in this race.

Elsewhere in the betting, Thunder Snow is trading at 10/1 with Betfred. While he’s certainly earned his place in this race, his last two meetings with Churchill have shown that he’s not quite on his level. There’s no real reason to think that will change here so Saeed bin Suroor’s horse looks best avoided. It would be a big surprise to see Lancaster Bomber (25/1 with Totesport) beat Churchill too but he was only a length and a half behind his stablemate during the 2,000 Guineas on good to firm going. On similar ground this time, he looks overpriced even with his poor showing in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Conclusion

A case can be made for Barney Roy but putting your money on the formidable Churchill looks to be the way to go. He’s formed a great partnership with Ryan Moore and the two look like continuing their unbeaten streak for at least one more race. For a more adventurous option, an each way stake on Lancaster Bomber can be justified on the back of his Dewhurst Stakes and 2,000 Guineas performances.

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