Royal Ascot 2016: Guineas winners battle for St James Palace Stakes

3-Consort, with Frankie Dettori aboard leads the field early in the 2015 St James Palace Stakes, which was eventually won by 4-Gleneagles.

Consort (black cap), with Frankie Dettori aboard leads the field early in the 2015 St James Palace Stakes, which was eventually won by Gleneagles (orange and blue cap), giving trainer Aidan O’Brien his seventh win in the prestigious event.

The Royal Ascot meeting will get off to a roaring start (Tuesday) with the 2016 edition of the St James Palace Stakes as the main event on a terrific opening day card. The race is a Group I for three year olds at one mile on the flat (turf). Sensational horses such as Giant’s Causeway, Rock of Gibralter and, of course, Frankel have all asserted their dominance in this race.

This year’s edition of the St James Palace Stakes features three Guineas winners, all of whom tower over the field: Awtaad, The Gurkha, and Galileo Gold.

1-Awtaad (9-5) is the second choice on the morning line at 9-5. He has won four races in a row and most recently defeated the third pick in this race, Galileo Gold, by 2 1/2 lengths in the Irish 2000 Guineas. Could not be in better form and the recent rains may help out his game.

Should sit a good trip right behind the leaders and pounce down the lane. The pick.

Awtaad 117 118


7-The Gurkha (7-5) is coming off an impressive victory in the French Guineas. He defeated First Selection by 5 1/2 lengths under jockey Ryan Moore, who is seeking his seventh Royal Ascot title out of the last eight years.

The Gurkha is trained by Aidan O’ Brien, who is no stranger to winning the St James Place Stakes. O’Brien has won the race seven times, most recently last season with Gleneagles.  With a win on Tuesday, he’ll have won five of the last 10 editions of this race. The one to beat.

The Gurkha 112 119


6-Galileo Gold (5-1) won the Qipco 2000 Guineas and most recently finished a distant second to Awtaad in the Irish 2000 Guineas. He did not have the best of trips that day and still managed to gut his way to finish third.

Can a better trip help him make up 2 1/2 lengths on Awtaad?  We will find out soon enough, but I have to think the soft going favors others a bit more. Outside chance.

Galileo Gold 118 118


It would be stunning if the Guineas winners do not dominate this race. They are a talented group and should all finish in the top three.

If you are looking for a price horse with a shot if one of them does not fire, check out Emotionless.

4-Emotionless (12-1) was a well thought of 2-year-old last season before a chip in his knee sidelined him.  He may need a race or two to get back to form, but clearly Godolphin and Charlie Appleby like this colt to enter him in here.

He is bred well and William Buick retains the mount. Wouldn’t surprise me if he earned a share. Longshot possibilities.

Emotionless 116 118
Andrew Morisch
Drew Morisch, aka “Drew Mo” or the “Bloghorse,” has been an avid sports fan since he was born. Growing up in Nebraska, it was easy for him to fall in love with football and horse racing. He became a huge horse racing fan by attending Ak-Sar-Ben race track before its gates closed (sadly) for the last time in 1995.

Horses such as Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Black Tie Affair, Preakness winner Gate Dancer and local favorite Who Doctor Who all graced the dirt at Ak-Sar-Ben and helped power Drew’s passion for the Sport of Kings.

Drew has other passions to go along with horse racing. He is a big Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. You will usually find him tailgating at some undisclosed location on game days. Drew loves crunching numbers and analyzing data. Whether it’s PE ratios on stocks, speed figures in horse racing, or assist-to-turnover ratios in basketball, there is no such thing as too much information in his book. Drew also plays fantasy sports.

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