John Gunther, breeder of the unbeaten US sensation Justify, winner of the Triple Crown at Belmont Park recently, is even more excited about his unbeaten Without Parole’s attempt to win tomorrow’s Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
It’s a measure of the incredibly high esteem in which the royal meeting is held the world over that despite his home bred horse having become only the 13th in US history to win the Triple Crown, and the first since 1882 to do it having been unraced as a juvenile, Gunther confesses to the dream of owning a Royal Ascot winner being even more exciting than his latest Stateside heroics.
Without Parole, trained by John Gosden and the mount of Frakie Dettori (pictured top), is unbeaten in three starts so far and is a top priced 11/4 favourite with Betfair for Tuesday’s big race. He overcame unsuitable underfoot conditions last time out to keep his perfect record intact with a hard fought victory in the listed Heron Stakes at Sandown, but takes on much tougher opposition tomorrow at 4.20.
The likes of 2000 Guineas runner-up Tip Two Win (11/2 with Ladbrokes), Irish 2000 Guineas winner Romanised (6/1 with Bet365), and the classy Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of US Navy Flag (7/1 with Sportingbet) and Gustav Klimt (8/1 with 10bet), are among other leading contenders in the 10-runner field.
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“My feet are slowly getting back to the ground after Justify but has taken a while for it to sink in that’s for sure,” Gunther told PA Sport. “I do think having another home-bred runner at Royal Ascot is something else, though. I’ve been dreaming of having a horse run at Royal Ascot for many years and for this to happen in the same year as breeding a Triple Crown winner is quite a journey.
“I’ve even bought an outfit for the occasion. Usually I rent one, but this year is so special I went and got one! I think that race at Sandown will do him a lot of good as running him on the soft ground will give him extra fitness. Running him in the St James’s Palace Stakes will be one of the biggest moments of my life. I’m not taking anything away from the Triple Crown, but this race means more to me.”
Betting.Net’s ante-post previews of the superb Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes can be found here.
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.