Sheikh Hamdan's Palace Pier wins at Deauville to extend perfect start

Frankie Dettori lauds 'special' colt after claiming fifth successive victory

Jockey Frankie Dettori riding Palace Pier wins The St James's Palace Stakes on day five of the Royal Ascot horse racing meet, in Ascot, west of London, on June 20, 2020, which is taking place behind 'closed doors' due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.   / AFP / POOL / Edward Whitaker
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Palace Pier claimed victory in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville on Sunday to complete successive Group 1 victories and extend the perfect start to his career to five races.

The Kingman colt, in the silks of Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed and ridden by Frankie Dettori, produced a strong run from the back of the seven-runner field to win from Alpine Star by three-quarter lengths over the mile trip.

Circus Maximus finished third ahead of Godolphin’s Persian King.

Dettori’s decision to forego the Ebor meeting at York and instead to head to France was justified with a Group 2 win atop Mishriff on Saturday followed by Palace Pier’s success.

The veteran Italian jockey will now have to self-quarantine for seven days on his return.

“I made the right choice to come [to Deauville],” Dettori said. “I knew I had two super horses and they both won, and I was very taken by Palace Pier's performance today.

“The ground was testing, and he put it to bed in great style. I love the horse. He's very cool, he's got a good cruising speed, a great kick, nothing fazes him.”

The field went a decent pace on the heavy ground, with Pretreville setting the early pace for much of the way before Stephane Pasquier moved Alpine Star to the lead.

Jessica Harrington’s filly raced strongly in front but did not have enough to challenge Palace Pier towards the end.

“Palace Pier is a special horse,” Dettori added. “We went a good gallop on testing ground. I asked him to get closer and before I knew it, I was two lengths in front so it just shows what he can do.

“He's a lovely horse to be around and has delivered a lot. Alpine Star is very good and I'm not surprised they finished first and second.”

Dettori suggested the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on British Champions Day at Ascot could be next for John Gosden’s runner.

“The QEII would be an obvious target knowing that he handles soft ground,” he said. “He's only run five times so I hope he stays in training as he has a lot more to offer.”