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2021 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot: the runners, the odds, the verdict

Palace Pier: Queen Anne favourite and star miler won last year's St James's Palace Stakes
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Day one of Royal Ascot is full of Group 1 action, and the St James's Palace Stakes (4.20) offers the chance for the top three-year-old milers to do battle. Recent winners include Palace Pier, Barney Roy and Kingman, while the great Frankel won the race in 2011.

4.20 Royal Ascot: St James's Palace Stakes racecard and betting


Smart last year; unsuited by the Newmarket track in the 2,000 Guineas; remains of interest

Trainer:Aidan O'Brien
Jockey:Ryan Moore


Improving; ran well behind Mostahdaf and Highland Avenue at Sandown; needs much more

Trainer:Ralph Beckett
Jockey:Hector Crouch
Odds: 40-1


Has form figures of 11115 on good/firmer, most recently fifth in the 2,000 Guineas

Trainer:Richard Hannon
Jockey:Pat Dobbs
Odds: 6-1

4 Highland Avenue

Solid record; close second to Mostahdaf (who received 3lb) at Sandown; in the mix

Trainer:Charlie Appleby
Jockey:William Buick

5La Barrosa

Craven runner-up; held by Poetic Flare and Lucky Vega on Irish 2,000 Guineas running

Trainer:Charlie Appleby
Jockey:James Doyle
Odds: 20-1

6Lucky Vega

Close third in the 2,000 Guineas; the Irish version panned out less favourably; big player

Trainer:Jessica Harrington
Jockey:Shane Foley
Odds: 13-2

7 Maximal

Couple of good efforts over 1m2f this term; tougher task back down in distance

Trainer:Sir Michael Stoute
Jockey:Colin Keane
Odds: 22-1


Fast-improving colt who is 3-3; won the Listed Heron Stakes last time; strong credentials

Trainer:John and Thady Gosden
Jockey:Jim Crowley
Odds: 8-1


Made all in a couple of three-year-old handicaps in April; latest the Esher Cup; this is harder

Trainer:Mark Johnston
Jockey:Ben Curtis
Odds: 20-1


Capable of useful form but sole win remains at maiden level; headgear enlisted

Trainer:Aidan O'Brien
Jockey:Wayne Lordan
Odds: 100-1

11Poetic Flare

Narrowly won the 2,000 Guineas; went close in the Irish version; leading player

Trainer:Jim Bolger
Jockey:Kevin Manning
Odds: 4-1favourite

12Thunder Moon

11-2 when he finished last in the 2,000 Guineas; abundant two-year-old promise is still in the mind

Trainer: Joseph O'Brien
Jockey:Frankie Dettori
Odds: 8-1


Pair of Guineas duck eggs (Newmarket and the Curragh) this season; tongue-tie now fitted

Trainer:Aidan O'Brien
Jockey:Seamie Heffernan
Odds: 28-1

The verdict

An open St James's Palace Stakes. Narrow preference is for Lucky Vega, with Battleground second choice ahead of Mostahdaf.

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Read more on Royal Ascot 2021:

'Hardy' Poetic Flare primed for a fourth Group 1 assignment in 45 days at Ascot

The six jockeys and trainers who could enjoy a Royal Ascot breakthrough

The must-watch race on each of the five days at Royal Ascot

Check out the Racing Post Royal Ascot microsite for the latest tips and odds for the royal meeting. The best Royal Ascot betting advice and exclusive free betting offers all in one place.

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