Galileo Gold: wins the St James's Palace Stakes under Frankie DettoriPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Galileo Gold wins battle of Guineas winners
Report: Royal Ascot, Tuesday
St James's Palace Stakes (Group 1) 1m, 3yo
IN WHAT was billed as the clash of the 2,000 Guineas winners, Galileo Gold came out on top under Frankie Dettori to stamp his authority on Classic generation with a dazzling performance.
The Newmarket Classic winner, trained by Hugo Palmer, travelled like a dream and kicked away from his rivals inside the final two furlongs to score at 6-1, with the 4-5 favourite and French Guineas winner The Gurkha in second, and the Irish Guineas conqueror Awtaad in third.
'A magnificent ride'
It was an inspired ride from Dettori, who managed to grab the rail despite having the widest draw as he settled in second place behind the pacemaker Cymric throughout the early stages of the contest, and Palmer was full of praise for his rider.
"It was a tough challenge, he got the most magnificent ride from the widest draw," said the trainer. "It's fair to say he's the best three-year-old colt in Europe."
The Gurkha and Awtaad were slightly slow out of the stalls. In contrast, Galileo Gold was very slick, allowing Dettori to guide his mount over which meant he had first run on his rivals and the jockey admitted: "Everything went to plan - I managed to get first run on the other two."
Palmer added: "He ran a huge race in Ireland but he wasn't able to use his stride there. At Newmarket and here today the horse's stride was never broken. Frankie managed to get him into the most magnificent rhythm and then the horse just galloped and galloped and galloped.
"It shows you why at this level you need everything to go right. One tiny thing went wrong in Ireland and we finished second. Everything went right today and we won. He's a remarkable colt and we're very lucky to have him.
"It went very well for us today and I'd say they have to come and beat us now in the Sussex Stakes. Since the owner sponsors it I'd imagine that's where we go."
'I've no doubt he is better than that'
Awtaad was the first to chase home Galileo Gold but after trying to get on terms without dealing a blow, he tired in the final furlong and relinquished second place to The Gurkha, and connections were not convinced he liked the ground.
Angus Gold, representative for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: "My own feeling is that I'm not convinced the horse wants the ground this soft. The fact he had the better of The Gurkha and then The Gurkha came and got him at the end and he stopped in his run.
"Watching the horse's action, I don't think he needs really soft ground. I think he was struggling in the ground a bit. There will be no point trying to go further yet and I've no doubt he's better than we saw today. He was never winging like he was in Ireland."
Cut for Sussex
Bookmakers were impressed by the son of Paco Boy's performance with Paddy Power going 2-1 from 5-1 for the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.