Palace Pier kicked off the 2021 Royal Ascot in style with a comfortable victory, giving Frankie Dettori his seventh win in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes.
Just like in 2012, Royal Ascot began with the highest rated horse in the world running in the opening race. Nine years ago it was Frankel who kicked off the meeting with an astonishing performance and this year it was Palace Pier, the son of Kingman, who stormed to victory.
The heavy betting favourite at 4/11 took the win by two lengths from Lope Y Fernandez (12/1) who finished well late. Sir Busker (22/1), ridden by Oisin Murphy finished third while Lord Glitters came in fourth (28/1).
Dettori, on his 74th Royal Ascot winner, overtakes Pat Eddery on the all-time winners list and stands only behind the great Lester Piggott on 113.
Speaking to ITV Racing, the 50-year-old said, “Wow! This is the first time [Palace Pier] has run on this sort of ground and he didn’t let himself down the way he [normally] would. On easier ground he probably has a little bit more to give”
“He’s quite clumsy with his feet. He’s often losing his shoes. It was a pressure ride - you want everything to go right and it did,” the Italian concluded.
The Italian jockey has won the meeting’s top jockey title for the last two years and one race into this year’s instalment in Berkshire has shown he’s more than capable of making three in a row this week.