The St James’ Palace Stakes looks one of the more open races outside of the handicaps at Royal Ascot, but Dragon Pulse is just favoured to get his head in front at 8/1.
Power is set to go off favourite for the Aidan O’Brien yard and arguably fits many of the key trends of the race, including the fact that the market leader has triumphed in seven of the last ten runnings.
However, he ran poorly in the 2,000 Guineas when the soft ground clearly did not suit and with conditions also on the softer side at Ascot, conditions may be against him again.
Interestingly, 11 of the last 12 winners of the St James’ Palace Stakes had finished inside the first four of a Guineas and this is a big boost to the hopes of Hermival at 10/1.
He has disappointed since in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, but may have been disadvantaged by the fast ground that day and punters could do well to forget this run.
Another horse where a big run is expected is Fencing, but although a return to 1m on testing ground should suit, the fact William Buick is riding The Nile for John Gosden instead is a worry.
Born To Sea ran better last time in the Irish Guineas and could be a big danger if settling well early .
But preference is for Dragon Pulse, who comes into the race with big credentials.
He was only just touched off last season by Power at the Curragh and re-opposes again on ground that he will be better suited to.
Dragon Pulse also has a victory over the highly regarded Parish Hall on his resume from last season and a success over Dabirsim from earlier in the current campaign.
The big key for Dragon Pulse is that he needs a true-run race and not a final 3f sprint, which is something he should get here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.