Champions Day Likely To Be Palace Pier's Swansong

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Palace Pier | Scoop Dyga

Trainer John Gosden has said that Qipco British Champions Day, where Palace Pier (GB) (Kingman {GB}) has entries in the G1 Champion S. and G1 Queen Elizabeth II S., is likely to be the 4-year-old's swansong before he goes off to stud.

Palace Pier, last year's champion 3-year-old off wins in the G1 St James's Palace S. and G1 Prix Jacques le Marois, is a perfect four-for-four in 2021. Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum's bay won the G2 bet365 Mile, G1 Lockinge S. and G1 Queen Anne S. before defending his title in last weekend's Marois over this season's G1 2000 Guineas and St James's Palace S. winner Poetic Flare (Ire) (Dawn Approach {Ire}).

Referring to the fact that an illness has forced Palace Pier to miss last month's G1 Sussex S., Gosden told talkSPORT, “We just managed to get to the [Marois]–he would have been 80-odd per cent ready, he was 10 days short, so two pieces of work really. He was on the wing so a little bit out on his own. He went a length up and then sort of thought he'd done his job, but Kevin [Manning on runner-up Poetic Flare] did a clever job under that rail, going on the quicker ground and was coming back at him.

“The class of Palace Pier got him through, as Frankie [Dettori] said. We were thrilled to win off an inadequate prep. We'll see where we go, it will probably be Champions Day and then off to stud.”

Palace Pier's only loss in 10 starts came when he was third over the soft going in last year's QEII, and Gosden said the ground will play into the decision of whether the horse tries 10 furlongs for the first time in the Champion or sticks to the mile.

“I mentioned 10 furlongs as a possibility and he is in both races, but if it's very soft it would be unlikely,” Gosden said. “If it's good then it would be fascinating, he'd have nothing to lose.”

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