Emotionless aims to cause stir in St James’s Palace Stakes
12 Jun 2016
William Buick says colt has "come right" for clash with three Guineas winners on opening day of Royal Ascot
Emotionless has been absent since being injured in the Dewhurst Stakes. Picture: Racingfotos.com
William Buick is relishing the return of Emotionless in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
The mile contest is one of three glittering QIPCO British Champions Series races on the opening day of the meeting and the £400,000 event promises to be one of the highlights of the week as the final field of eight runners include the winners of the English, Irish and French 2000 Guineas.
That trio – Galileo Gold, Awtaad and The Gurkha – dominate the betting but Buick says Emotionless should not be overlooked.
The Charlie Appleby-trained colt looked bound for the top when winning the Group Two At The Races Champagne Stakes in tremendous style at Doncaster last September but has been off since running poorly in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes a month later, after which he required surgery for a chipped bone in his knee.
Appleby had announced him on course for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas in the spring but ruled him out ten days before, stating he was not ready.
“He’s had long time off and it’s a very, very hot race but the horse has come right, he looks good and it’s at the right time of year for him,” Buick said.
“We still think he retains all the ability he had last year. He’s in at the deep end but we are looking forward to getting him back.
“He will do himself justice – and more – but it will be a building block. It is his first run of year and whatever he does on Tuesday you would think he will be better next time.”
Emotionless, who will have a pacemaker in Cymric, has effectively had only two races because Buick eased him heavily in the Dewhurst, sensing something was amiss. However, the jockey, who has won 14 races at the royal meeting, does not believe the son of Shamardal will be betrayed by lack of experience.
“He seems savvy and I would not worry about that,” he said. “It’s quite nice to be going in under the radar on a horse like him. I think he handles fast going and cut in the ground too.”
Zonderland (sixth) and First Selection (seventh) were unable to lay a glove on Galileo Gold in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas but are back for another stab at him.
First Selection subsequently chased home The Gurkha in the French equivalent, though was beaten five and a half lengths.
At 83, Kevin Prendergast, the trainer of Awtaad, would become one of the oldest trainers to register a winner at the meeting. He first tasted success at Royal Ascot in 1981 when Ore won the Queen’s Vase.
The field is completed by the Owen Burrows-trained Ehtiraas, who remains a maiden after three starts.
Ascot was hit by 20mm of rainfall on Friday and the forecast remains unsettled. It is good to soft on the straight course, and soft in places on the round course.