Royal Ascot Day One Preview - 4.20pm St James' Palace Stakes


The St James’s Palace Stakes is a Group 1 race open to 3yo colts, with a prize fund of £305,000 to the winner.

Tom Wilson in conjunction with GIVEMEBET gives you a preview of some key factors that could help determine the winner of the fourth race of the day.


John Gosden traditionally has a good record in this race, having two winners from 8 outings (25%) and 4 places during that span, and he runs Too Darn Hot this year.

We previously highlighted Too Darn Hot in the trainer antepost preview article last week at a price of 3/1, with the market since moving in his favor, he has now been backed into a best price of 9/4 with GIVEMEBET.


The historical trends and statistics for the race are intriguing as 8 of 11 past winners have been rated 115 or above. This is particularly interesting for this year's contest as only two runners pass the 115+ criteria - Phoenix of Spain & Too Darn Hot.

Over the years the top rated or joint top rated horse has a good strike rate, winning 6 of 17 (35.29%) and has a place strike-rate of 58.82%.

This is a positive for the top rated horses Phoenix of Spain and Too Darn Hot, as both lead the betting.



Further analysis, especially when it comes to the odds, confirms we should be focusing our attention on the top of the market.

Surprisingly, horses’ win ratios in this race are actually better than the expected ratio when betting at 3/1 or less. Horses that were clear leaders in SP odds are 7 out of 10 over the last decade, while horses outside the Top 4 in the betting are 0/53 over the same period, with only 6 places between them.

As you can see below the numbers suggest we should be avoiding any horses that are 13/1 or higher in the betting, leaving the two big favorites along with King of Comedy, Skardu, Circus Maximus and Shaman as potential profit makers.



The St James’s Palace Stakes is ridden over the 1m distance at Ascot, similarly to the Queen Anne Stakes earlier in the Day One card.

We have taken a look at all 1m races at Ascot and built a comparison between the Actual vs Expected results on Soft Ground [Good to Soft, Soft, Heavy] vs. Good Ground [Good, Good to Firm, Firm].


In the comparison we can clearly see that when the ground is softer there is a pronounced bias towards the middle stalls 7 – 12. If the poor weather conditions continue and the ground comes up Good to Soft or worse, these stalls will draw the most attention.


Too Darn Hot was the superstar 2-year-old horse of last season and coming into this campaign he was Antepost favourite for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Due to John Gosden’s record in the race I had originally fancied him to reverse placings with favorite Phoenix of Spain following the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh last month.

Following the draw, it would appear that Too Darn Hot could be up against it from Stall 2.
Phoenix of Spain has a perfect draw from Stall 7 and looks the horse to beat.

To win: Phoenix of Spain @ 7/4

All odds accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to fluctuation. T&C’s apply. 18+.

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