Palace House Stakes Betting

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The two-day QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket ranks among the most glamorous meetings in the international racing calendar. At the end of April or in early May each year, top owners, trainers and jockeys gather here for the very first of the British flat racing season’s Classics. The mile-long 2000 Guineas Stakes is the highlight of opening day, and joining it on the card is the Group 3 Palace House Stakes for sprinters.

This £50,000 event sponsored by Pearl Bloodstock covers a distance of five furlongs on the straight turf of the famous Rowley Mile. It is open to Thoroughbreds aged three years and upwards, with the three-year-olds carrying eight stone four pounds and the older horses bearing a weight of nine stone even.

An allowance of three pounds is provided for fillies and mares. Penalties are applied to entries successful in races held since 31st August of the previous year, amounting to eight pounds for Group 1 winners, six pounds for Group 2 winners and three pounds for Group 3 winners.

Newmarket, of course, is the epicentre of racing in the U.K. and home to the British Horseracing Authority along with dozens of training yards and stables. When this event was inaugurated in 1961, it was named for a famous Newmarket building on the site of King Charles II’s royal residence—the Palace House.

Although no horse has ever won this race twice, there have been some highly noteworthy winners here in recent years. The bay filly Lochsong, for example, had success in the Palace House Stakes in 1994, the same year she won her second Cartier Award as the Top European Sprinter. Ten years later, Frizzante won here before going on to claim the Group 1 July Cup in 2004.

The Palace House Stakes is still waiting to see who will break the deadlock at the top of the jockeys’ leaderboard. Fully ten different riders have two victories each in this race, but no one has yet to gain a third. The first was Ron Hutchinson with Ruby Laser in 1964 and Tamino in 1966. After him came Lester Piggott on Communication in1971 and Valeriga in 1980, and then Yves Saint-Martin aboard Raga Navarro in 1977 and Standaan in 1981.

By 2000, five others had joined them. Greville Starkey won aboard Vaigly Great in 1979 and Hallgate in 1987. Steve Cauthen got his pair with Lightning Label in 1982 and Elbio in 1991. Frankie Dettori succeeded on Statoblest in 1990 as well as Lochsong, while John Carroll did so on Paris House in 1993 and Mind Games in 1995. Following in their footsteps was Michael Roberts atop Deep Finesse in 1997 and Yorkies Boy in 1998.

After the turn of the new millennium, Michael Kinane claimed his second win at long odds on eight-year-old Rushcutter Bay in 2001, paying 20/1, after having triumphed on Cool Jazz in 1996 at 16/1. The most recent double victor is Tom Eaves, who guided 15/2 Captain Gerrard to the finish post first in 2008 and then repeated on six-year-old Tangerine Trees in 2011 to deliver a lovely 18/1 payout.

Likewise, nine trainers have managed a couple of wins each in the Palace House Stakes. Two of them accomplished it back-to-back, namely Dick Hern with Galivanter in 1961 and Crisper in 1962, followed by Bill O’Gorman with On Stage in 1983 and Reesh in 1984. The others are Doug Marks, Luca Cumani, Ian Balding, Jack Berry, Bryan McMahon and Henry Candy, plus Bryan Smart who schooled both of the recent winning mounts for Eaves.

Apart from Rushcutter and Tangerine Trees, no horse older than five years has won here since 2000. There have been three three-year-olds, two four year-olds and four five-year-olds reach the winner’s enclosure in the past dozen years. If a seven-year-old were ever to win, it would be a first.

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