St James’s Palace Stakes 2011 

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royal ascot 2011/


Super Frankel Takes St James's Palace Crown

1 Frankel 30/100F
2 Zoffany 20/1
3 Excelebration 10/1
9 ran Distances: ¾l, 1½l, hd
TIME 1m 39.24s (fast by 0.76s)

Superstar Frankel maintained his unbeaten record when justifying 30/100 favouritism in the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes although he scored by only three-quarters of a length after tiring in the final stages.

© Racehorse Photos


Prince Khalid Abdulla’s home-bred was sent on before the home turn to catch pacemaker Rerouted and winning trainer Sir Henry Cecil admitted that he would have chosen different tactics if given the chance again.

“That was a bit nervewracking and it didn’t go to plan. He is growing up but it just went a little bit wrong today,” said Cecil. “He was nice and relaxed in the race and I don’t think he needed the pacemaker. If I was to run that race again in half an hour then it would be very different.

“He looked as if he was going to win a bit more easily and I think that he thought that he had just done enough. He settled really well today - very, very well. When he was in front at the furlong, he thought that he had done enough so he was really idling at the end. That’s a very good thing because it means that we can ride a normal race on him. Last year he ran all the way to the line but today, rather like in Newmarket, he knew he’d won his race very early and done enough.

“The plan was to go just before the bend - like the Royal Lodge again, when he sprinted away and the further he went, the better he went. But now he is getting wiser and he thought he had the race won, rather like in the Guineas.

“He wasn’t at all tired, he just thought that he had done enough. It’s good really because it means that I can settle him in now and I don’t have to make such use of him. He’s changing a lot.

“I think that it is inevitable (that we meet Canford Cliffs and Goldikova) unless this horse goes a mile and a quarter for the Juddmonte International. Maybe the Sussex Stakes or the Juddmonte, but we will see - it’s too early after the race to think about it.

“I never like the three and four-year-olds to come together before Ascot and the race at York, the Juddmonte, is the Prince’s race. He sponsors it but has never won it before and I know he would love to win it. But we’ll do the best for the horse and advise the Prince and he’ll take the final decision. I think Frankel will stay further although obviously I’m not certain. The horse is a gentleman but he’s complicated. He’s a very hot-blooded horse but he went down beautifully today.”

Cecil, whose knighthood was announced on Saturday, was enjoying his 73rd Royal Ascot victory and added: “Any win at Royal Ascot is lovely and it’s good to be back here. There was a couple of years when I’d be at Catterick and places during this week so it’s lovely to be back.”

Winning rider Tom Queally added: “He jumped a little bit slow and he settled much better than he ever has before. As a result, nobody was inclined to follow Michael (Hills on Rerouted) so that put me in a tricky position. I had to make a decision to go one when I did.He was running for a long way and was starting to get a little bit fed up with it in front - he does it so easily.

“He is growing up all of the time. Everybody thinks that he can just jump and run but he is more versatile than people think. We have got options regarding tactics and he is still the one to beat at the moment. He’s getting more professional with every run and he’s starting to know he’s good now.

“He was so good but he’d never had a race in his life before and been given anything to think about. He was the talking horse and many people’s banker this week and he has obliged. I just wanted to do the horse justice.”


Starting Price
Beaten Distance
H R A Cecil
T P Queally
9st 0lbs
3 - 10
A P O'Brien
R L Moore
9st 0lbs
20 - 1
3/4 length
M Botti
A Kirby
9st 0lbs
10 - 1
1 1/2 length
M Al Zarooni
L Dettori
9st 0lbs
50 - 1
Dream Ahead
D M Simcock
William Buick
9st 0lbs
14 - 1
3 1/4 lengths
Dubawi Gold
R Hannon
R Hughes
9st 0lbs
12 - 1
8 lengths
Wootton Bassett
R A Fahey
P Hanagan
9st 0lbs
12 - 1
Grand Prix Boss
Y Yahagi
M Demuro
9st 0lbs
16 - 1
13 lengths
B W Hills
M Hills
9st 0lbs
66 - 1
15 lengths



Zoffany thrilled trainer Aidan O’Brien with his fast-finishing performance that saw him finish just three-quarters of a length behind Frankel.

O’Brien said: “He has a lot of speed and we were obviously worried because I don’t think he’s ever raced beyond seven [furlongs].

“But he was behind the winner being held up for six furlongs and we were delighted. We’ll definitely have another go at this trip and we’ll have to have a look at the Sussex Stakes or something like that now.”

Marco Botti was similarly pleased with the run of his third-placed Excelebration, winner of the Mehl Mulhens-Rennen (German 2,000 Guineas) on his last start.

“He ran well. He almost fell out of the stalls and lost probably a length there. Then it was a bit of a messy race and Adam [Kirby, jockey] said he got hampered a couple of times,” said Botti.

“We have to be happy with that though. He wasn’t beaten far in a Group 1 and the race was run in a good time. We are absolutely delighted.”

After the race the stewards found that sixth-placed Dubawi Gold, ridden by Richard Hughes, had caused interference to Excelebration and suspended Hughes for three days for careless riding. His suspension will run from Tuesday, June 28 to Thursday, June 30.

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