Royal Ascot 2014: Kingman wins St James's Palace Stakes

By Elizabeth HudsonBBC Sport
James Doyle on Kingman
Doyle has formed a superb partnership with Kingman

Kingman showed his blistering pace to deny Night of Thunder and win the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Night of Thunder was well placed on the rail under Richard Hughes but Kingman was brought wide by James Doyle.

The 8-11 favourite, who was beaten by Night of Thunder in the 2,000 Guineas before winning the Irish equivalent, went past to triumph by a length.

It denied Hughes a third Group One win on the opening day of the Royal meeting.

Earlier he had won the Queen Anne Stakes on the 4-5 favourite Toronado while Sole Power (5-1) won the King's Stand Stakes.

Kingman was settled towards the back of the field by Doyle and trailed turning into the home straight, but quickly made up the ground.

Despite hanging towards the rail in the last half-furlong, it made no difference to the result as he won by two-and-a-quarter lengths ahead of Night of Thunder (3-1) with Outstrip (33-1) in third.

Doyle turned round to his beaten rivals and raised his finger to his lips as he passed the winning line.

"I probably shouldn't have done that," he admitted. "I let my emotions go a bit but I got a lot of satisfaction from that.

Frankie Dettori
Frankie Dettori won at Royal Ascot for the first time in two years, on The Wow Signal

"A lot of things were said after the Guineas and he's proved he's the best of the three-year-olds. We've put that behind us - it was annoying, he didn't get beaten very far and everyone kind of thought he wasn't a champion.

"He's got so much pace, he's almost climbing over the back of them wanting them to go quicker. I'm just very lucky to be sat on his back, I can't thank [owner] Prince Khalid Abdullah enough for giving me this opportunity."

Toronado, trained by Richard Hannon Jr, was making his first appearance of the season, but showed few signs of rustiness and once Hughes switched him wide in the final couple of furlongs, he cruised to victory.

It was a first win at the Royal meeting for Hannon, who took over from his father last year.

"I was nervous this morning, I feel a bit better now. It's great to get a win," he said.

"It's lovely to get the meeting off to a start like that. He did it very well and is settling much better this year. Hughesie rode him with all the confidence in the world."

Sole Power secured back-to-back victories in the King's Stand Stakes.

After the seven-year-old won on the line under Johnny Murtagh 12 months ago, Hughes took the ride this time and the seven-year-old's acceleration proved key once again to beat outsider Stepper Point with the favourite Hot Streak back in third.

Frankie Dettori secured his 48th career Royal Ascot victory, but first for two years, as The Wow Signal (5-1) won the Coventry Stakes for trainer John Quinn.

The triumph sealed a double for Qatar-based Al Shaqab Racing, the owners of Toronado, who have Dettori as their retained rider.