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#ChampionsDay contenders: Galileo Gold

3 Oct 2016

We kick off our look at some of the key contenders with the dual #ChampionsSeries winner

Galileo Gold

Galileo Gold lands the St James’ Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Picture: racingfotos.com

Following on from a hugely successful two-year-old season, Galileo Gold has announced himself as one of the stars of this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series. After winning three of his five races as a juvenile, including the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, the Al Shaqab-owned three-year-old has lit up the Flat season.

QIPCO 2000 Guineas

Trainer Hugo Palmer’s confidence in his horse was rewarded in April as his colt was emphatic in securing him a first classic victory in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas. A cool ride by Frankie Dettori made sure he saw off Massaat and Ribchester to claim the first classic. Connections then made the trip across the Irish Sea for the Irish equivalent, but it was not to be, Galileo Gold finding Kevin Prendergast’s Awtaad.

St James’ Palace Stakes

Royal Ascot was the next port of call and the St James’s Palace Stakes was acclaimed as one of the highlights of the meeting as it saw the clash of the three Guineas winners from England, Ireland and France. Awtaad re-opposed after winning the duel in Ireland, and Coolmore’s The Gurkha joined the party after a dominant display at Deauville. Sent forward in a slowly run affair, Dettori again shone as he led all the way for a resounding win.

Galileo Gold lands the St James' Palace StakesGalileo Gold landing the St James’ Palace Stakes. Picture: racingfotos.com

Qatar Sussex Stakes

The trio met again in an epic Qatar Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, where once again the son of Paco Boy made the running. This set the race up perfectly for The Gurkha, who went on to score by a neck, with old foe Ribchester closing quickest to grab third, just a short head adrift.

French foray

On his most recent start in the Group 1 Jacques Le Marois, Galileo Gold was far too keen upon leaving the stalls and was never able to sustain a challenge. He faded to finish eighth. The race went the way of the progressive Ribchester, who he had beaten in the 2000 Guineas and Sussex Stakes.

Next up?

The three-year-old colts are set to meet again at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day, with Ribchester and Galileo Gold facing off for round four in the QIPCO Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Possible opponents include stellar filly Minding and dual Group 1 winner Belardo.

With only Queen Anne Enclosure tickets remaining, you had better be quick if you want to see them battle again. Get tickets here.