Palace Pier and Order of Australia Lead Tuesday's Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot for Automatic Berth into FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile
Queen Anne is First of Four Breeders’ Cup Challenge Races During Royal Meeting
ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND (June 14, 2021) — Palace Pier (GB), one of the world’s top milers, and Order of Australia (IRE), the reigning FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner, headline Tuesday’s US$563,000 Queen Anne Stakes (G1) in the opening race of the Royal Ascot meeting at Ascot Racecourse. The winner of the Queen Anne will secure an automatic berth into this year’s US$2million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 84 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California on Nov. 5-6.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the Queen Anne winner to start in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile, which will be run over the Del Mar turf course. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of October 25 to receive the rewards.
The Queen Anne, run over a straight mile, is the first of four Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races to be conducted during the Royal Ascot meeting. The race will be televised live on NBCSN and TVG.
First run in 1840, the Queen Anne Stakes is named for the monarch who established racing at Ascot in 1711.
Palace Pier, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum and trained by father and son John and Thady Gosden, has won seven times in eight starts, including last year’s St. James’s Palace (G1) at Royal Ascot and the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois (G1) at Deauville. A 4-year-old son of Kingman (GB), Palace Pier has won both his starts in 2021, taking the 1-mile bet360 at Sandown on April 23 by 8 lengths, and the 1-mile Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (G1) at Newberry on May 15 by 1 ½ lengths. His only defeat came in last October’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) at Ascot, when he finished third over soft ground.
“He is a lovely horse who has done everything right in his life,” said John Gosden. “He only missed the autumn of his 2-year-old career. He prepped in a Newcastle race last year and came out and won the St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1). He did everything right last year until the end when he ran on very soft autumn ground (in the Queen Elizabeth II). He hated that, lost a shoe and got left.”
“He’s come back well this year. He did handle that ground (good to soft) in the Lockinge and I’ve got to be clear that maybe a horse like Lope Y Fernandez did not. Back now on summer ground I think you will see a lot more horses come into play that maybe weren’t happy on the ground.”
Frankie Dettori, who leads all jockeys with six Queen Anne wins, has the mount aboard Palace Pier.
Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magner, Michael Tabor and Mrs. A.M. O’Brien’s Order of Australia came off the also-eligible list and won last November’s FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile at 73-1 at Keeneland. Order of Australia was the first of three Aidan O’Brien-trained runners across the wire, with Circus Maximus (IRE) a neck behind in second and Lope Y Fernandez (IRE) finishing third. A 4-year-old son of Australia (GB), Order of Australia will be making his first start since finishing sixth in last December’s Longines Hong Kong Mile (G1) at Sha Tin.
Lope Y Fernandez, a 4-year-old son of Lope De Vega (IRE), started the year well by winning the listed 1-mile Heritage Stakes at Leopardstown on April 14. He went off as the 5-1 second choice in the Lockinge but was caught behind horses with a furlong remaining and wound up eighth.
The 8-year-old Lord Glitters (FR), who won the 2019 Queen Anne Stakes at 14-1, is also coming out of the Lockinge, where the roan/gray son of Whipper finished fourth. Trained by David O’Meara and ridden by Daniel Tudhope, Lord Glitters has won nine races, including two 1 1/8-mile scores at Meydan this year in the Jebel Hatta on March 6 and in the Singspiel Stakes on Jan 21. He also finished sixth in the Dubai Turf (G1) at Meydan on March 27.
“He ran fine in the Lockinge,” said O’Meara. “There were a few younger horses ahead of him and Palace Pier looked unbeatable, but Lord Glitters likes the straight track at Ascot so hopefully he runs his race again. He is better at Ascot than at Newbury.”
Saeed Manana’s 5-year-old Top Rank (IRE) finished third in the Lockinge. Trained by James Tate, Top Rank, a gray son of Dark Angel, has won six of nine starts, and has a victory this year in the listed Unibet Doncaster Mile on March 27. Last September, he won the Betfair Superior Mile Stakes (G3) at Haydock. Top Rank will be ridden by P.J. McDonald.
Also entered is the Mrs. R.F. Johnson Houghton’s 7-year-old gelding Accidental Agent (GB), who won the 2018 Queen Anne Stakes. Trained by Eve Johnson Houghton and ridden by Charles Bishop, Accidental Agent finished fourth in last year’s race.
In addition to the Queen Anne, there will be three other Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races at the Royal meeting: The Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1), held on Wednesday, June 16, will award the winner a free berth into US$4 million Longines Breeders Cup Turf (G1); the Norfolk Stakes (G2), which will be run on Thursday, June 17, offers a “Win and You’re In” starting position into US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2); and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1) on Saturday, June 19, which gives the winner an automatic berth into the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).
ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 5-6 at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.
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