World Champion miler Palace Pier retires to Dalham Hall Stud

Dual Royal Ascot G1 winner and the only two-time winner of the Prix Jacques Le Marois this century joins the Darley roster

Palace Pier, winner of back-to-back runnings of the Prix Jacques Le Marois, plus the St James’s Palace Stakes, the Queen Anne and the Lockinge has been retired. The five-time G1 winner who was rated the best miler of 2020 will stand at Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket next year.

The striking son of Kingman, who cost 600,000gns as a yearling, was impressive from the off, as he posted consecutive wide-margin victories at Sandown as a juvenile.

In the Covid-hit 2020 racing season, Palace Pier reappeared in June and lined up for the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, still undefeated, wearing the silver silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum. It was his debut in Stakes company, and he was facing the Horse of the Year from 2019 – his new stud companion Pinatubo – but the step up in class proved no problem. Palace Pier accelerated brilliantly, taking up the lead inside the final furlong to win drawing away.

The G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois was next and despite testing conditions, Palace Pier once again quickened superbly to win from Alpine Star and Circus Maximus, winners of the G1 Coronation and G1 Queen Anne. This has proved a great stallion-making race, and in winning it as a three-year-old, Palace Pier was emulating his sire and the likes of Dubai Millennium, Dubawi and Ribchester. He rounded off his three-year-old campaign with a third in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Champions’ Day, having lost a shoe early in the contest.

Palace Pier was assessed the world’s leading miler of 2020 on the International Classifications and his Timeform rating of 132 was bettered only by Horse of the Year, Ghaiyyath.

Returning at four, Palace Pier kicked off what was to become another impressive season with an eight-length romp in the G2 Sandown Mile. A third top-flight victory followed, at Newbury in the G1 Lockinge and again he cruised to the front once asked for his effort. At Royal Ascot, he won very comfortably, completing the St James’s Palace and Queen Anne double also completed by Frankel.

Palace Pier then returned to Deauville for the race that has become Europe’s mid-summer one-mile championship: in a thrilling finish, he was much the best, quickening past the 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes winner Poetic Flare to become the first horse this century to win back-to-back renewals of the G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois.

Signing off his spectacular career with a narrow second in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes behind Baaeed, Palace Pier is the best ever by Kingman, rated 5lb above Persian King, and out of Beach Frolic who was sold for 2,200,000gns at the 2020 December Sales. This is the great Lagardere family of fellow Jacques Le Marois winner Miss Satamixa.

Sam Bullard, Director of Stallions, said, ‘Palace Pier is a wonderful horse to look at – and he’s even more impressive in full flight. He’s dominated the hugely competitive mile division for two seasons. He’s a very rare talent and we are privileged to be standing him.’

A stud fee for Palace Pier will be announced at a later date.