PALACE Pier is the new king of the milers after a glittering display in the Lockinge at Newbury.
A strong Group 1 field were left eating his dust as he cruised clear for a seventh career win under Frankie Dettori.
And the legendary Italian jockey grinned: “He is one of the best milers I’ve ever ridden.”
There was rarely a moment’s worry for punters who’d taken the 1-2 about John Gosden’s top-class four-year-old.
He settled well towards the rear of midfield, and when angled out for his run he breezed into the lead in a matter of strides.
It was a matter of ‘how-far’ from the two-furlong pole, and Dettori, 50, was able to coast across the line for the fifth Lockinge win of his career.
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Dettori said: “He usually hits a flat spot between the three and the two, but today he just took off.
“I hit the front a bit too early, but he went away from them and won like a really good horse.
“He has only run eight times and he is getting better. He is a wonderful athlete and he has a great temperament.
“We are going to have an exciting season with him. We are blessed to have a horse like him, he puts a smile on your face.”
Palace Pier will head to the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot next, with Coral making him a red-hot 4-5 favourite.
Gosden added: “He is a lovely horse and we will go to Royal Ascot next.
“He is different to his dad Kingman, who was a very speedy miler. This lad could easily step up in trip later in the season.”
Improving mare Lady Bowthorpe, owned by top music agent Emma Banks, ran a screamer to finish second at 22-1, well clear of Top Rank in third.
Banks grinned: “There were some amazing horses in that race and she ran like an absolute champ.
“I thought she might be down at the start looking out for a future boyfriend, but they might not be good enough for her because she beat them all!”
Earlier on the card, rapid improver Al Aasy annihilated a good field in the Al Rayyan Stakes and will head to the Coronation Cup at Epsom.
Winning trainer William Haggas said: “He was impressive and we will find out just how good he is in the Coronation Cup.
“He is a big, powerful horse and there are some fantastic races at a mile-and-a-half for him this summer.”
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