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Saturday 3 May 2014

Palace House Stakes

Today is a question of whether the new kids on the block can beat the old kid Sole Power - the latter won it last year and was doing all his best work at the finish up the hill so he has no problems with the course. His love affair with Murtagh is over and he teams up with Ryan Moore today. Although Sole Power is a little bit older now his experience and class can shine through on his favoured going provided Moore brings him through horses with his challenge.
Jamie Spencer has opted for Pearl Secret over Hot Streak even with the going as it is and he is a horse that is still open to plenty of improvement having only run 7 races in total. He ran just the once last year when third to Sole Power in the Kings Stand before injury curtailed his season. He won on his latest start at Nottingham but that looked a penalty kick without a goalkeeper.
Last years second Kingsgate Native could easily get amongst them again as like Sole Power he has a superior speed figure and Moviesta could, at this stage, be the best of the rest.
Looking through the field and the connections comments below there are horses who will improve for the run, as they have other targets in mind, and also others running on going that is not ideal, however in Sole Power we have a previous winner returning - who is fit, having run well in Dubai, and he has his favoured going which makes him the selection for me.

Previous runnings:
History : The event is named after Palace House, a famous building in Newmarket on the site of a royal residence of King Charles II. The race was established in 1961, and the first running was won by Galivanter.
Draw Record last 6 years :
2013 - 9, 11, 10, 7 (17 ran) Good to Firm - Johnny Murtagh
2012 - 2, 4, 6, 10 (16 ran) Good to Soft
2011 - 3, 10, 5, 11 (15) Good to Firm
2010 - 4, 3, 12, 2 (12) Good to Firm
2009 - 4, 1, 14, 9 (16) Good to Firm
2008 - 11, 8, 10, 5 (10) Good to Firm
Age of Winner - 6, 4, 6, 5, 3, 3
2013 : 1st Sole Power, 2nd Kingsgate Native, 3rd Tangerine Trees, 4th Heeraat
2012 : 1st Mayson, 2nd Definightly, 3rd Elusivity, 4th Spirit Quartz
2011 : 1st Tangerine Trees, 2nd Rain Delayed, 3rd Sole Power, 4th Jonny Mudball
2010 : 1st Equiano, 2nd Borderlescott, 3rd Blue Jack, 4th Sole Power
2013 Review
The field were spread out from the middle of the course to the stands´ rail and, while the main players emerged from the centre of the bunch, they were probably just best on the day. The time was only 0.21 seconds outside the track record. SOLE POWER, fourth in this in 2010 and third in 2011, got a good lead into the race from Tangerine Trees, he travelled well and found plenty, despite not convincing he was totally at home on the undulations and ridden to lead inside final furlong, ran on strongly to win.

Connections comments

Des Lynam - Sole Power: "He goes there in good form. The draw (stall six) looks fine and the ground should suit him. He came back from Dubai well. He enjoyed his time out there, as usual, and there's not a bother on him since he arrived home. Sooner or later the gravy train is going to stop, but hopefully we might get another year out of him. He's in good shape and has a good jockey on him."

David Revers - Pearl Secret : "Pearl Secret is in fantastic form - David tells me he has never been better. Physically, he is in a much better place than he was last year. He has matured a lot and looks absolutely magnificent. The ground shouldn't be a problem for him. He is by Compton Place, and sometimes that line like to get their toe in, but this horse has a fast-ground action. He obviously had that accident on the horse-walker last year and you wouldn't want to put any undue pressure on his legs. That is a slight concern, but that all appears to be behind him, so hopefully that is the case.
This looks a nice stepping-stone on the road to Royal Ascot and we're looking forward to running him."

Hot Streak  - "Hot Streak is only a three-year-old, but he has been working to an exceptional level this spring and Kevin is in no doubt that he has trained on from two to three," said Redvers.
"In an ideal world we'd like to see a bit of rain as Kevin has always been of the mindset he would like his first run of the year to be on good ground. If it ended up being rattling fast, we'd probably take him out and find him another race somewhere. As is the case with Pearl Secret, it's all about giving him a run somewhere as part of the plan to get him to the Royal meeting."

Extortionist -"He is a very strong horse now and I think he'll come on for the run."

Bryan Smart -Moviesta "He looks great and has wintered really well. It's the start of the year and we can only look forward from here. He showed what he can do when he won his Group Two at Goodwood and he knocked himself in the Nunthorpe, so we know what happened there. I couldn't be more pleased with him at the moment. He's as well as I can get him at home. My horses always improve for a run, but hopefully he'll run a good race."

Kingsgate Native - Cheveley Park Stud, said: "We're very happy with his preparation. He'll probably need the run, and Haydock's Temple Stakes, which he won last year, is probably his main aim."

Roger Varian - Justineo and Rocky Ground.
He told his website, "Justineo was very progressive over five furlongs last season. It is a strong race but I believe he is up to this level and will run very well.
Rocky Ground came good at the end of last season when winning at Beverley. I think he will have a good year but I see this race as a starting point as, ideally, I think he will be better suited to six furlongs in time. His work has been good and hopefully he will be finishing strongly."