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Palace Pier was brilliant in trouncing the Lockinge field in the middle of May and at 2/5, to land this afternoon’s Royal Ascot opener, it’ll be no surprise to see another rout from the scintillating son of Kingman. But if he can live up to his already sparkling reputation, who chases him home?

I’ve sided with the old boy LORD GLITTERS who rarely seems to run a bad race. The gorgeous grey first emerged on the scene, on UK shores, when running a fine second in handicap company to Accidental Agent at this course back in October of 2017. Both geldings subsequently captured this event and at 7 and 8, now considered to be old-timers, they continue to rub shoulders with the best of them.

But, despite being the older of the pair, Lord Glitters seems to be the one who’s retained that spark best. He finished well adrift of Palace Pier at Newbury, finishing fast to get up for a very creditable 4th under a typically patient ride. Before that, the son of Whipper had been incredibly productive out in Dubai, notching a Group 2 win on return and later getting up to win the Group 1 Jebel Hatta. The two runs were split by an unlucky third when giving away weight, and followed by an eye-catching run in the Dubai Turf, where he was never close enough to challenge.


To see him still able to get competitive – and win - at such a high level, as something of a veteran, just offers some hope that he’s still capable of giving this mob something to think about. Those four runs in the spring came over 1 mile and 1 furlong, on a much sounder surface than he faced at Newbury and it clearly saw him to best effect. Today’s test should play similarly, with the stiff Ascot climb playing to his proven stamina, and his proven affiliation with the course also offering a huge advantage.


To date, he’s only won twice at the course but both have come over the straight mile and he’s not actually run a bad race here whatsoever. His highest finishing position was 8th of 16 in the QEII behind King Of Change, but he was dropped out last and made up plenty of ground in the final couple of furlongs up the centre of the course with the race already having unfolded up in front of him. He also ran very similar races when finishing 6th either side of that defeat, behind Roaring Lion (2018) and The Revenant (2020).


Both were ran on a much more testing surface and for all he first emerged as a bit of a mud-lover, he seems to have grown much fonder of a quicker surface, with his best RPRs coming on good (120) or good-to-firm ground (118). His versatility is truly admirable and his record in this race currently reads: 2, 1, finishing just half a length second back in 2018 before mowing them all down to go one better the following year.


We know how he’ll be ridden, as ever, he’ll be dropped out last and hope to come home fastest, and with a little bit of luck in running, he’s sure to be on the premises. Think his run in the Lockinge hasn’t been rated that highly but he still managed to weave his way through the pack to get up for fourth on ground that may just blunt him a little bit these days. Palace Pier looks a bit of a freak, but if underperforming, I really do think this old boy is still capable of picking up the pieces.


He’s been on the drift but it hasn’t put me off and I really think he’s set to at least make the frame.

Selection: LORD GLITTERS E/W 28/1

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