2013 St James's Palace Stakes - MagicianMagician (pictured) won the Irish 2,000 Guineas and is the hot favourite to claim the 2013 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Can he do it? Read on to find out our verdict, and to see where we will be placing our St James’s Palace Stakes bets…

We’ve had at look at the records of the most recent winners of the St James’s Palace Stakes with a view to picking out some trends. We can then apply these to the 2013 field, to thin out the numbers a little. Here’s what we discovered:

Key St James’s Palace Stakes Trends

Past Form

  • All of the last 14 St James’s Palace Stakes winners had finished in the front 2 on debut
  • 13 of the last 14 winners had already won either a Group 1 or Group 2

These trends suggest that our 2013 St James’s Palace Stakes selection needs to have shown plenty of ability. Not every horse is capable of making a good debut and it’s certainly true that not every horse can win a Group 1.

Recent Form

  • 13 of the last 14 winners had finished in the front 4 of the 2,000 Guineas or the Irish and French equivalents

Guineas form is always a strong pointer to the St James’s Palace Stakes. It’s worth noting that the one exception didn’t even run in any of these three races and that 12 of the 13 had not only finished in the first four, but in the first two.

Pedigree

  • 13 of the last 14 St James’s Palace Stakes winners were born no later than the end of April
  • 11 of the last 14 winners were sired by a Group 1 or Grade 1 winner

A St James’s Palace Stakes winner is going to be a classy individual and this will be reflected in the horses’s breeding. The trends also suggest a bias towards the slightly older horses, that are likely to be better developed physically.

Summary

After applying all of these St James’s Palace Stakes trends to the 2013 field, we are left with Dawn Approach, Style Vendome and Toronado.

The first two of the three named horses seem unlikely to run at Royal Ascot. Dawn Approach, who was so disappointing in the Derby, will be given time to recover from that effort, with trainer Jim Bolger stating that “he definitely won’t be going to Ascot”.

Style Vendome should also miss the Royal meeting, having been purchased in the last couple of days by Toronado’s owner Sheikh Joann Al Thani. Trainer Nicolas Clement said: “Style Vendome is very unlikely to run in the St James’s Palace Stakes, unless Toronado does not run there. The plan is to go for the Prix Jean Prat on June 30.”

So that just leaves Toronado himself as the trends selection for the 2013 St James’s Palace Stakes. The colt had been unbeaten until finishing fourth in the Newmarket 2,000 Guineas and won a Listed race at Ascot as a two year old, an experience that should stand him in good stead.

At the current best price of 11/4 (3.75) with William Hill, we’re not going to become millionaires backing him, but he still rates better value than the favourite Magician, who is no bigger than 5/4 (2.25).

Advice

The 2013 St James’s Palace Stakes
Tuesday June 18th, 15:45

Toronado @ 11/4 (3.75) with William Hill

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