Palace Pier kept Dubai in the spotlight with an impressive victory in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes on the opening day of the Royal Ascot festival on Tuesday.
The four-year-old son of Kingman in the silks of Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed put the race to bed with a devastating finish in the final furlong under Frankie Dettori.
Aidan O’Brien’s Lope Y Fernandes under Seamie Heffernan and William Knight’s Sir Busker finished second and third, respectively.
Battaash, in the colours of Shadwell, could finish only fourth in the Group 1 King’s Stands won by Roger Teal’s Oxted with Cieren Fallon in the saddle.
Jim Bolger’s Poetic Flare led an Irish sweep of the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes.
Kevin Manning raced prominently on the English 2000 Guineas winner to win from Lucky Vega and Battleground by four and-a-quarter lengths and a neck, respectively.
Godolphin runners Highland Avenue and La Barrosa came in sixth and tenth, respectively.
Palace Pier was impressive. Dettori had to niggle through in the early part of the race but he responded and moved through to lead inside the last two furlongs to complete his eighth win in nine starts.
“He just takes that moment to go and when he hits the front he just pulls up, 'I’ve done enough',” John Gosden, who trains the winner with his son Thady, said.
“He’s a gorgeous horse. He's not a flashy worker but he does it on the track. He’s the same as his father [Kingman], he can go on any ground, he’s got plenty of scope and he’s a pleasure to be around.”
Dettori, who has ridden the horse eight times of his nine starts, added: “It’s the first time he’s run on this type of ground and he’s not let himself down as good as he could.
“He's still won a Group 1 and he’s shown again that he’s the best around. I think on easier ground he’s got a little more to give. It’s a pressure ride and you want everything to go right and it did.”
Meanwhile, Godolphin’s exceptional 2021 so far has been acknowledged in the latest Longines World’s Best Racehorse rankings, with homebred colts Mystic Guide, Essential Quality and Adayar featuring among the highest-rated horses in the world this year.
Mystic Guide is the joint highest-rated dirt horse in the world with a rating of 122 following his victory in the G1 Dubai World Cup in March.
The four-year-old has improved with each of his eight career starts for Michael Stidham and is set to make his first appearance since his Meydan triumph in the Group 2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park in early July.
Essential Quality and Adayar share top spot as the world’s highest rated three-year-old with a mark of 121 following their Classic victories earlier this month.