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Special Features

Royal Ascot 2021 – St James’s Palace Stakes Ante-Post Preview: Andrew Mount’s Expert Analysis & Selection

Horse racing royal ascot

Royal Ascot is now just around the corner, and in anticipation of one of the highlights of the racing calendar, top tipster Andrew Mount is providing us with his in-depth preview of all of the main Royal Ascot races. Today, Andrew casts his eye over the St James’s Palace Stakes, giving his thoughts on the race’s main protagonists and his idea of the most likely winner. Check out his preview below, which comes alongside an exclusive Royal Ascot SBK offer, that provides new customers with a £20 risk-free bet.


St James’s Palace Stakes (1m, Tuesday, June 15, 4.20pm)


ST MARK’S BASILICA 2/1, as short as 2-1 at the time of writing, ended last year on a high with victory in the Dewhurst Stakes. He started this season where he left off with a Group 1 success at Longchamp on his first attempt at the 1m trip. It’s possible that he’ll miss this in favour of the French Derby, making him a risky ante-post proposition.

2000 Guineas winner POETIC FLARE 4/1 was only sixth to St Mark’s Basilica when favourite at Longchamp before going down by a nose to stablemate Mac Swiney in the Irish 2000. The winner enjoyed the run of the race that day and he should go well if lining up here, despite the suspicion that he’s ready for the step up to 1m2f.

MASTER OF THE SEAS came from further back than ideal when narrowly beaten by Poetic Flare in the 2000 Guineas. His record in Britain reads 1112 (3-4) and he looks sure to take higher-order, despite having yet to win on a turning track.


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HIGHLAND AVENUE 10/1 raced on the ‘dead’ rail when a narrow second to Mostahdaf in the Listed Heron Stakes at and might be able to reverse the form with the winner this time. His record since his racecourse debut now reads 1112 (3-4).

MOSTAHDAF 13/2 came out best in a great battle with Highland Avenue at Sandown, though he did race wide on the quicker ground. He’s now unbeaten in three starts and is open to further progression.

LUCKY VEGA 7/1 was beaten by just half a length when third in the 2000 Guineas and started as favourite for the Irish equivalent. He could only finish fourth at the Curragh but his patient running style was at a huge disadvantage that day and his five-length defeat can be upgraded.


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CHINDIT 12/1’s four wins have come over 7f but he seemed to get the trip when fifth in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket where he was drawn away from the action. He could go well.

LA BAROSSA 14/1 is three from three on good or faster going and his patient style was unsuited to the Curragh when only sixth in the Irish 2000 Guineas.

CADILLAC 20/1 has not been seen on the track since his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf fourth. He won on his debut last year but has yet to win away from Leopardstown.


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MEGALLAN 22/1 reportedly heads for the French Derby.

Antepost Derby favourite HIGH DEFINITION 16/1 is unlikely to line up here.

NANDO PARRADO 28/1 has failed to score in four attempts since his 150-1 success in last season’s Coventry Stakes, though he raced on the slow ground towards the inner when fourth to Mostahdaf at Sandown.


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Conclusion: 2000 Guineas one-two-three Poetic Flare, Master Of The Seas and LUCKY VEGA all hold solid claims, with the Newmarket third preferred despite his subsequent defeat in the Irish equivalent. He was massively inconvenienced by the pace bias that day and Ascot should suit his running style. Heron Stakes one-two Mostahdaf and Highland Avenue are also respected, especially the last-named who was conceding weight to the narrow winner and raced on the ‘dead’ rail.


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