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Royal Ascot Day One - St James' Palace Stakes

ROYAL ASCOT TUESDAY

Ah, a proper festival without any twigs in the way. And possibly, just possibly, the sun will be out. It baffles me why this day isn't always sold out - it's the best card of the week, by a long way. This year's edition of the St James' Palace has the English, French and Irish 2000 Guineas winners in it so it's potentially the crowning of the best 3yo miler colt. 


ST JAMES' PALACE STAKES
Group 1, One Mile,  3yo Colts
£687,875
1625 local, 0125 Wed AEST

1. Almaqam

Rapidly improving, just three starts under his belt but has won both runs this season. After winning at Yarmouth, he made a huge step forward in winning the Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown. Similar improvement might put him in the mix. Ed Walker is having a great year and Tom Marquand is always top class. Respect.

2. Alyanaabi

Second to City Of Troy in Dewhurst last October, and then first-up in the 2000 Guineas, ran fifth behind Notable Speech, Rosallion and Haatem. Won't be far away, Shadwell always have a presence (and winners) at Royal Ascot. Each-way chance.

3. Darlinghurst

French raider who won a G3 over 9f at his last start, ahead of First Look who then went and ran second in the Prix du Jockey Club. That made it four wins from four for 2024, starting with winter conditions races at Cagnes-sur-Mer followed by a Listed race on the AW at Chantilly, a bit like the AW form of the favourite. Who knows just how good he is? Adds another dimension to this race.

4. Henry Longfellow

Unbeaten in three starts as a 2yo, he travelled to Longchamp for the Poule D'Essai du Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) but failed on the soft track as 5/4 favourite, running eighth, beaten four lengths. There's plenty of support for him, can he bounce back in a harder race?

5. Metropolitan

Beaten only once in four starts (didn't like the Very Soft going?), he struck at big odds in the Poules D'Essai du Poulains five weeks ago. That run hasn't rated as highly as the English or Irish equivalents but there's no reason to think he has stopped improving. Will be a decent price despite being a G1 winner.

6. Notable Speech

Now unbeaten in four, he raced away with the 2000 Guineas (SP 16/1) after winning his first three starts on the AW. Tactically, he mightn't get all the breaks in this smaller field but if he's beaten most of these before, why wouldn't he do it again?

7. Rosallion

An outstanding colt by Blue Point, in his last three starts he has won the G1 Prix Jean-Luc de Lagardere, been beaten 1.5L in to second in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, then won the Irish 2000 Guineas by a head over Haatem. Those three runs have been very close together on RPRs - does that mean he has plateaued already? Sets a high standard with his consistency.

8. Unquestionable

Won the Breeders Cup' Juvenile Turf (one mile) last season after running second to Rosallion in Paris, but resumed for this year in the Irish 2000 Guineas and finished over 6L behind that horse. Has talent but think over here, that'll mean G2/G3.


SUMMARY

A tricky one. Do we believe Notable Speech is that good when he started at 16/1 winning the Guineas? Has Rosallion already topped out? Will Henry Longfellow do a City Of Troy and bounce back after a poor run first-up? If the field holds up at eight, I'll take Alyanaabi each-way.

ALYANAABI, Notable Speech, Rosallion, Darlinghurst

Back Alyanaabi each-way at around 20/1 (only if it stays at three places/eight runners).

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