Palace Pier back in style with mighty Mile performance

Palace Pier proved a class apart from his rivals as he returned to winning ways in the bet365 Mile at Sandown.

John and Thady Gosden’s four-year-old made giant strides last year, starting out with a handicap victory at Newcastle on his reappearance before winning the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He then went on to land the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville – but was bogged down by the very soft ground on Champions Day back at Ascot, losing his unbeaten record in the process.

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Despite connections attempting to dampen enthusiasm before his return in terms of his fitness, he was still the 4-11 market leader against just three rivals, which included Roger Varian’s Khuzaam, so impressive when winning on All-Weather Finals Day.

Frankie Dettori had to encourage Palace Pier to take up the running from the latter with well over a furlong to run and while he did not pick up immediately, when he did his response was emphatic.

On meeting the rising ground Palace Pier found overdrive and ran out a hugely impressive eight-length winner from Bless Him in second.

On the back of his victory Paddy Power make Palace Pier their 10-11 favourite from 13-8 for the Lockinge at Newbury next month.

Frankie Dettori and Palace Pier in full flight
Frankie Dettori and Palace Pier in full flight (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Gosden said: “He was 80 per cent today, but luckily they didn’t put it up to him.

“He’s having a good blow and in terms of where we would look next, this was the right starting point.

“It should put him spot on for the Lockinge at Newbury and then we would look towards Royal Ascot (Queen Anne).

“He’s a grand horse and I’m sure he will get further at some stage,. We will put him in the Eclipse, although I’m mindful that it comes pretty close to Royal Ascot.”

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