HUGO PALMER had a career-best year in 2017 in terms of numbers of winners and the Newmarket handler is looking to build on that progress in the new Flat season.
Palmer talks us through his returning group of older horses and an interesting bunch of three-year-olds, some of whom could develop into Classic contenders.
“It’s very sporting of the owners to have kept Architecture in training as a five-year-old and I’m delighted that they have. She seems to have done really well from four to five, she’s grown a bit and filled out and doesn’t seem to have lost any enthusiasm for her work on a daily basis.
“She’ll likely start in the Daisy Warwick at Goodwood and having run well at Epsom and The Curragh, Goodwood should hold no fears for her. She likes to get her toe in a bit so we’ll be avoiding ground that is much quicker than good.”
was wonderful for us last year having won twice and been second in the Nell Gwyn. I think she was off colour the day she ran in the 1000 Guineas.
“She’s due to start back at Lingfield on their big meeting on 12th May in Chartwell Stakes and the Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot will be her main early season target.”
To Be Wild:
“To Be Wild is still on the treatment table but is starting back now, but I don’t think we’ll see him until late summer. He’s been gelded and with cut in the ground he could develop into a really nice stayer.
“He’s rated 107 and when he gets his conditions, he’ll be a lot of fun. He could be an Ebor horse if things go right, or maybe even the Long Distance Cup at Ascot on British Champions Day.”
“Good Friday was GIFTED MASTER’s early season target. He has an entry in Hong Kong and if he were to be invited out there we’d be quite keen get him out there. But there are also races like the Abernant Stakes and the Duke of York – and he’ll probably be entered in both the King’s Stand Stakes and the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot. I’m keen to think about dropping him back to 5f, despite being a Group 3 winner over a mile.
“Since we’ve put the blinkers on him he has shown such extraordinary speed and his early fractions in the Godolphin Mile on dirt over a mile on World Cup night were really remarkable and that marked him up as a sprinter with potential to improve. There are Pattern race sprints to be won with him all through the year.”
It’s a very exciting time of year, seeing how all the two-year-olds have progressed over the winter. We had a lot of two-year-olds last year and they were a different type to the ones I’ve had before. They were perhaps better-bred and rather more backward.
“Arbalet was the highest achieving of them with a rating of 101 after finishing third in the Solario Stakes at Sandown. That day he just appeared to gallop and there’s still a little question mark over which trip we might start him over.
“He is by Dark Angel and out of Miss Beatrix, so both parents won Group 1s at two, but he’s a big horse who stands over a lot of ground and he looks like a middle distance horse, not a sprinter. He moves like a middle distance horse and if he can get 10f – it might not be impossible – then I think he could be very exciting.”
“Corrosive ran well on debut at York and dotted up in a novice at Kempton and he’s done particularly well. He’s just exciting us a little bit in the mornings at the moment and as with so many of these horses the next 6-8 weeks will define their careers and the season.
“Where he goes, I don’t quite know. We could start in the Greenham and he has a 2000 Guineas entry and he looks the part. That might come a bit quick for him but he could be a Jersey horse by Royal Ascot.”
“Fajjaj has big boots to fill as he stands in Galileo Gold’s box and they’ve got very similar heads too. He’s a much bigger horse, though, and he has a Guineas entry although he’s beginning to look to me like he might get a bit further. There’s a lot of Guineas blood in his family being by Dawn Approach and out of a sister to Kingman.
“We may well start him in the Feilden Stakes over 9f and see which way that takes us. He’s not in it, but he could conceivably be a French Derby horse if he went the right way.”
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“Momentarily was very much in the top handful of fillies last year. She only ran the once and finished third to Wild Illusion and the second has come out and bolted up since so the form stands up. She’s really developed and changed over the Winter and I’m very, very happy with the way she is.
“She’s a lovely looking filly and I think her Maiden should be well within her grasp and then we’ll be looking for black type with her.”
“Mystic Meg also got a Group 1 entry last year but it didn’t quite go well for her. She went over the top after her first run when she finished a good second. She has bags of speed and is from a very good miler family.
“I thought last year she might be a mile-and-a-half horse but she’s probably more of a miler and she’s definitely a filly to look forward to.”
“Being a High Chapparal colt, you dream that TENEDOS might stay a mile-and-a-half and if he does then I think he’ll be smart. He’s showed me plenty in his early work last year but it went off and we felt we had to run him or put him away, so we ran him and he hosed up and it was great to see. It’s fuelled dreams for the owner and us that he might progress.
“Having raced just the once, he most likely would start in a novice somewhere and could potentially go from there to a Derby Trial and we can find out where we are with him.”
“The Revenant has done particularly well over the winter and is well entered. The 2000 Guineas might be a bridge too far for him, but he’s not slow by any means. If he’s top class I think it might be over a little bit further than a mile. He’s really grown and developed and it was no surprise at all that he won well first time.
“He was terribly unlucky at Epsom second time out and got stopped three times on his run and if he’d only been stopped twice he’d still have won. Being out of a mile-and-a-half Group Three winner and being by Dubawi – and having a good name – we hope he can also be critically acclaimed at some stage.”
“White Mocha was probably the second highest achieving of ours at two. He’s not bred to be so as he’s from a staying German family and although being by Lope De Vega you think they would get better with age, he has filled his frame over winter and is in great heart at the moment.
“Looking at his pedigree you’d have to think he will stay and that his achievements at two were a bonus. He won at Newbury and some great horses have won that race in the past and it would be lovely if he could do that too.”