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Kingman wins St James's Palace Stakes
06:12 AEST Wed Jun 18 2014

Kingman streaked past rival Night of Thunder with a scintillating burst in the final furlong to win the St James's Palace Stakes, the feature race of the opening day of the Royal Ascot meeting.

Kingman, the 8-11 favourite, broke to the front from the outside and pulled away for a two-and-a-quarter-length victory over Night of Thunder, the 3-1 second favourite. Outstrip was third.

Kingman beat Night of Thunder by four lengths on April 12 in the Greenham Stakes, but Night of Thunder won the 2000 Guineas by half a length on May 3.

In Tuesday's third matchup between the two horses, Kingman proved his superiority.

Ridden by James Doyle, Kingman settled in the pack for most of the race while Richard Hughes kept Night of Thunder out in front.

When the horses turned into the home straight, Kingman made up the ground in a matter of strides and shot to the lead.

Doyle gestured for silence with his index finger as he crossed the finish.

"It's almost like they can't go quick enough for him," he said.

"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 ... on his back."

Trainer John Gosden praised his horse's acceleration.

"I sat down with James in the weighing room because I didn't want to get confused with everyone else's tactics in the parade ring," he said.

"I said whatever they do, ride him cool."

Earlier, favourite Toronado used a decisive surge over the final furlong to win the Queen Anne Stakes, the first race of Royal Ascot.

The day began with the traditional royal carriage procession along the course. Queen Elizabeth II was joined by Prince Phillip and Prince Harry in her carriage. Among those in attendance was German tennis great Steffi Graf.