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St James’s Palace: Rebel has seven to beat
by Geir Stabell ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2007-06-19 11:37:49 (First published: 2007-06-15 08:05:29 )

Royal Ascot Tuesday: The dual Guineas winner Cockney Rebel is sure to be favourite but he is not exactly in a soft race as he goes for his third win on the bounce in the St James’s Palace Stakes (G1).

This is a race where we often see a fresh faces break through, colts who were not quite ready when the early classics were staged have often won. Eight go to post this time.

The favourite will see some familiar rivals in the paddock though. Cockney Rebel wil again be facing the three who chased him home in the Irish 2000 Guineas (G1), Creachadoir, He’s A Decoy and Duke Of Marmalade. Will he beat them again? Probably, but that is not necessarily going to be enough to win.


Royal Ascot 19 June 2007 – 1 mile turf (round course)

Horses presented with best Globeform, sire, rider

A ‘+’ after horse indicates improvement expected

120 – DUTCH ART (Medicean) + / J Fortune
119 – COCKNEY REBEL (Val Royal) + / O Peslier
118 – ASTRONOMER ROYAL (Danzig) + / C O’Donoghue
117 – CREACHADOIR (King’s Best) / K Manning
115 – HE’S A DECOY (In The Wings) / K McEvoy
115 – DUKE OF MARMALADE (Danehill) / M Kinane
114 – EXCELLENT ART (Pivotal) + / J Spencer
103 – JACK JUNIOR (Songandaprayer) + / L Dettori

DUTCH ART was our top rated juvenile last year, when he collected impressive wins in the Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville and Middle Park Stakes (G1) at Newmarket. Both events were over 6 furlongs and he showed seriously good early speed, but his game third in the 2000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket in May proved that he stays a mile. As he excellent trainer has always maintained he would.

He earned a marginally higher Globeform rating than Teofilo last year. He was quite impressive in both his big wins, but he also went down in our notebook as a sprinter – not a miler. Therefore, it came as some surprise when he lost a slowly-run prep for the Guineas. Starting 8-11 favourite, he could never get on terms with the front-running Major Cadeaux, who beat him by 3 ½ lengths in the Greenham Stakes (G3) at Newbury. He left that form well behind when third in the Newmarket classic two weeks later. Dutch Art burst through inside the final furlong, racing alone on the far side, which was probably a disadvantage. He was beaten only by Cockney Rebel and Vital Equine. He was beaten 2 ¼ lengths by the winner.

Ascot may well suit Dutch Art better than Cockney Rebel. With the relatively short straight, this is a completely different mile than the one over the straight course at Newmarket. It is essential to have early tactical speed, and be able to lie handy as they turn for home here. Dutch Art has that quality, and he should be in the right place at the right time. He has been rested since Newmarket, and that is another plus. He must have a big chance.

Download Dutch Art’s essay from the Globeform Annual via the link below.

DUTCH ART (Medicean) GF07s

COCKNEY REBEL will of course be hard to beat again. He has produced two thoroughly professional performances to complete a Guineas double. Looking really well in the paddock before the 2000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket, he was one of the outsiders, but proved clearly the best as he beat Vital Equine and Dutch Art. The margins were 1 ½ lengths and ¾ length, while Duke Of Marmalade was just a nose behind Dutch Art in fourth place. Cockney Rebel, who had shown smart form as a juvenile but nothing like this level, was a worthy winner. And he proved his class once more when going for the Irish 2000 Guineas (G1) at the Curragh three weeks later. Ridden differently, and pulling as the pace was steady early on, he came with a smooth run from off the pace to beat Creachadoir by a length. Cockney Rebel was never far off the pace at Newmarket, but this time he was at the back in the early exchanges. He had a real battle with Creachadoir through the last furlong, though always holding the upper hand.

On ratings, Cockney Rebel produced similar performances in his two Guineas races. That is not to say he ha can’t improve. He probably will. A strong colt with plenty of scope, he should go on through the season and he could even be effective over further than a mile. His end of season target is the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), however, and most likely he will stick to this trip.

He is quite a short priced favourite in the early betting for the St James’s Palace, too short. He has a very good chance of winning again, but this is a tougher race, it is quite open, and a price around 3-1 would be more realistic than the 6-4 on offer currently. I should think he will drift on the day.

ASTRONOMER ROYAL is my selection and at 10-1 (Sunday morning) this colt must be backed. A line through Creachadoir tells us that he is very close to the favourite on form, and this son of Danzig looks just the sort to make rapid improvement. After running unplaced in the Prix de Fontainebleau (G3) at Longchamp in April, he caused an upset when winning the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (G1) over the same mile in May. The French ‘2000 Guineas’ was hotly contested, and he produced a fine turn of foot to beat them all. Astronomer Royal came home half a length in front of Creachadoir, proving by far the best of the two. Honoured Guest was 1 ½ lengths further back in third, beating the unlucky Excellent Art by ¾ length. Much was made of how unfortunate the latter was and, true, he did have a terrible. But to say that he is a better horse than Astronomer Royal seems far fetched. What people tend to forget, is that when a horse is stopped in his run and forced to slow down for a few strides, he is also saving energy. Of course, the ground lost is detrimental to his chances and time is running out, but to rate Excellent Art on a par with the winner would be a mistake.

Astronomer Royal ran quite a remarkable race himself, as he came from the back with a very powerful finish. Can he be closer to the pace on Tuesday? He probably can. He was up in the firing line all the way in both his starts as a juvenile. He has been ridden by O’Donoghue is the last three of his four races, and the combination must have an excellent chance of following up their success in Paris last month.

CREACHADOIR is solid and consistent and can be expected to run another good race, but he will need to improve to win. Improve he may do, but so may Cockney Rebel and Astronomer Royal, making it unlikely that Cheachadoir can win. He was readily beaten by a superior turn of foot when second to Astronomer Royal in France, and ran like a horse who would appreciate a step up in distance when runner-up to Cockney Rebel in Ireland.

HE’S A DECOY was third in the Irish 2000 Guineas, and is closely matched with DUKE OF MARMALADE and the French Guineas fourth EXCELLENT ART. The last named finished really strongly at Longchamp, where he suffered an interrupted run (and his rider picked up a ban). Excellent Art is on our ’50 to Follow’ list this year, and he is a high class horse. He was deeply impressive on a couple of occasions as a juvenile, when trained by Neville Callaghan. After being transferred to Aidan O’Brien, he was aimed at the mile classic in France, rather than the Guineas at Newmarket. He was dealt a big blow already when the post positions were drawn, as Excellent Art ended up in post 13 of 14 – a wide draw is a big disadvantage over a mile at Longchamp. His rider Jamie Spencer managed to get him to the inside, but also managed to get him into serious trouble. With a clear run, he would probably have gone close. Ironically, Astronomer Royal, won the race by taking the middle to outside route (from post 9).

Good tactical speed has already been mentioned as a vital factor over this round mile at Ascot, and Excellent Art is quite speedy. In fact, we chose him on our list of horses to follow as a potential sprinter! He’s in with a winning chance.

JACK JUNIOR ran second to the mighty Asiatic Boy in the UAE Derby (G2) over 9 furlongs on dirt in Dubai in March. He was beaten a long way by the winner, who is now in training in England, but it was a nice performance and it confirmed his promising juvenile form. He could hardly have been found a tougher race to make his comeback in though, and it would be a bit of shock to see his name at the top of the result list.




EW (win & show): 1 Astronomer Royal


A: 1 to beat 2, 5, 6
B: 2, 5, 6 to beat 1

Selections and bets based on ground no worse than good to soft

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