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'He was a pleasure to train' - Palace Pier retired to Dalham Hall Stud

The Kingman colt won five top-flight races including two Prix Jacques le Marois

Palace Pier: exceptional son of Kingman has been retired to Dalham Hall Stud
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World champion miler Palace Pier, the winner of five Group 1 races, has been retired from racing and will stand at Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket next year. 

The son of Kingman was unbeaten in two impressive victories at two and followed up a Newcastle handicap strike with victory in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last year, beating current Dalham Hall resident Pinatubo and Wichita in an exciting finish. 

Palace Pier went on to win the Prix Jacques le Marois, beating a top-class field that included Alpine Star, Circus Maximus, Persian King and Romanised, before a gallant effort when third in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day, having lost a shoe. 

Having been assessed the the world’s leading miler of 2020 on the international classifications, the four-year-old returned to action this term when landing the bet365 Mile at Sandown before his defeat of Lady Bowthorpe in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May.

Further imperious victories came in the Queen Anne Stakes and Prix Jacques le Marois, where he saw off 2,000 Guineas and St James's Palace winner Poetic Flare to become the first horse this century to win back-to-back renewals of the famous Deauville race. 

The John and Thady Gosden-trained colt signed off his career for owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum when a close second to the unbeaten Baaeed in the QEII last Saturday. 

"He was a very attractive yearling and I bought him because he had all the attributes you want to see in a yearling," said John Gosden.

"He trained well as a two-year-old and won both of his starts and then we walked into lockdown as he was coming back as a three-year-old.

"He was always going to run in the Greenham at Newbury and then go to the 2,000 Guineas, but we had no racing in April or May, so had to readjust our plans. It was an unusual preparation for the St James's Palace Stakes, which he won in great style against the best three-year-old milers.

"He's raced brilliantly this year, starting at Sandown, but his performance in the Lockinge was quite brilliant and he's always been a lovely horse to be around. He had a great attitude, physique and action, and won well in the Queen Anne before winning the Jacques le Marois for the second year running.

"It's been a pleasure to train him. He had a great mind and was very genuine. Saturday was a little frustrating, although Baaeed is a brilliant horse who – as he should being a three-year-old – was getting the 3lb weight-for-age allowance."

Pressed for his favourite Palace Pier moment, Gosden added: "I think his display in the Lockinge was mighty impressive. He could have gone up to a mile and a quarter if we wanted to, but he's got all the credentials to make a very good stallion."

Bred by Highclere Stud and Floors Farming, Palace Pier sold to John Gosden for 600,000gns from Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale in 2018. 

He is the third foal out of the Nayef mare Beach Frolic, an unraced half-sister to Dante Stakes scorer Bonfire and Musidora Stakes winner Joviality. Beach Frolic subsequently sold to MV Magnier for 2,200,000gns at last year's Tattersalls December Mare Sale and was covered once again by Kingman this year. 

Sam Bullard, Darley's director of stallions, said: "Palace Pier is a wonderful horse to look at – and he’s even more impressive in full flight. He’s dominated the hugely competitive mile division for two seasons. He’s a very rare talent and we are privileged to be standing him."

He is the third major son of Banstead Manor Stud's supersire Kingman to retire to stud, following in the footsteps of French 2,000 Guineas hero Persian King, who resides at Haras d'Etreham, and Coventry Stakes scorer Calyx, who stands at Coolmore. 

A stud fee for Palace Pier will be announced at a later date.

Palace Pier in numbers

£1,776,794 in earnings
600,000gns yearling
127 highest RPR
126 official rating
11 starts
9 wins
8 lengths, biggest winning distance
5 Group 1s 

Watch Palace Pier win the Queen Anne Stakes

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I think his display in the Lockinge was mighty impressive
E.W. Terms