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St James’s Palace Stakes Preview and Betting Tips – Royal Ascot 20/06/2017

The 4.20 race at Royal Ascot on Tuesday is the £400,000 Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes for three-year-old colts.

Churchill seeks eighth successive victory

All eyes will be on Aidan O’Brien’s Churchill, the winner of the English and Irish 2000 Guineas. The Ballydoyle trainer decided against running the colt in the Epsom Derby. There were concerns that a mile and a half would be stretching his stamina.

The son of Galileo is out of a Storm Cat mare and is seeking his eighth successive victory. He won the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October to confirm his status as the leading juvenile in Europe.

O’Brien sent him straight to the Guineas where he was driven out by Ryan Moore to beat Barney Roy by a length. He then followed up at the Curragh by beating Thunder Snow by two and a half lengths. Churchill is likely to be opposed by the runners-up in both Classic races at Ascot but should confirm the form. He handled the quick ground well in the Newmarket Guineas and there is always a good covering of grass at Ascot.

Barney Roy set for Churchill clash

Richard Hannon’s Barney Roy ran a tremendous race in the Guineas on only his third career start. The Excelebration colt was only a length down at the finishing line. He had previously beaten Dream Castle by two lengths in the Greenham Stakes over seven furlongs at Newbury. Both races were on good to firm ground and he is expected to give Churchill most to do.

Thunder Snow left connections baffled when fly-jumping his way out of the gates in the Kentucky Derby. He became impossible to ride for Christophe Soumillon who wisely pulled him up. No explanation for that performance was discovered and he showed no signs of temperament at the Curragh. He was beaten two and a half lengths by Churchill after leading with two furlongs to travel.

O’Brien also saddles 2000 Guineas fourth Lancaster Bomber and outsider Peace Envoy. Lancaster Bomber was only beaten just over a length at Newmarket but faded rapidly at the Curragh next time. Churchill has finished ahead of him in all five previous encounters. William Haggas held high hopes for Rivet at the start of the season. He side-stepped the Guineas after Rivet was beaten in the Craven Stakes. He finished third in the French 2000 Guineas but only eighth in the French Derby.

Royal Ascot Betting Tips 20/06/2017

4.20 St James’s Palace Stakes

Churchill @1.83 Bet365

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