Palace Pier confirmed himself as one of the finest horses that Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has ever earned following his emphatic victory in the Group 1 Locking Stakes at Newbury Racecourse in the UK on Saturday.
Frankie Dettori oozed confidence aboard the four-year-old son of Kingman who never raised a sweat to comfortably dominate his 10 rivals for a length-and-a-half victory over 22/1 outsider Lady Bowthorpe, the mount of British champion jockey Oisin Murphy.
“He’s a beast, I love him,” Dettori told Racing TV UK “He’s so good. I found a nice rhythm and had everything beaten throughout — it was great. I know he gets the mile real well so I kicked him on. He got a little bit lonely in front but he’s a true champion.
“This was his eighth run (and 7th win). He loves his racing and I guess all those good mile races will be his target.”
Saturday’s eye-catching victory also confirmed Palace Pier, who is trained by the father and son duo of John and Thandy Gosden, as the one of the best milers in the UK. Gosden last won the Lockinge, a mile contest which has been part of the British Champions Series since 2011 and is currently the second race in the mile division which culminated in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October.
It was a third big race victory for Palace Pier and following the Prix de Haras de Fresnay le-Buffard Jacques le Marois (G1) at Deauville, France and the St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at Ascot last year.
Sheikh Hamdan’s biggest career success came in the 2015 Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse which he won with Prince Bishop trained by Saeed Bin Surour and ridden by William Buick.