Hugo Palmer: I’m really looking forward to seeing him run
Top trainer and Coral ambassador Hugo Palmer discusses his runners at Goodwood and Newcastle on Thursday and gives us his thoughts on the Nassau Stakes.
I do have a bit of a question mark in my mind about Balon D’or on the soft ground, but he did run well in the Lily Agnes on soft earlier this year, and we did think he’d win that day if the ground hadn’t been as bad as it was. Having said that, he is a very strong horse, so I think he’s equipped to cope with it, and it’s definitely worth giving him another go on it.
He looked flat out all the way at Newbury last time, so perhaps this step up in trip will be what he needs. He hasn’t been done any favours by the draw being in stall 10, but there isn’t a lot we can do about that sadly. Goodwood is a very difficult place to win a race like this as everything has to go right, but I think he goes there with a live chance, and Harry Davies taking off a valuable 3lb certainly helps.
We run Phone Tag in the same race as Balon D’or, and I must say I’m really excited about Phone Tag. He’s disappointed us on his first three starts, which is why he’s been gelded and why he’s wearing blinkers, but I know the ability is there, I just feel he’s been holding a bit back in his races so far. Being out of Havana Grey, I think it’s a confidence thing as they usually try very hard for you, and even though he’s swished his tail a bit at home and during his races, he hasn’t done that recently which is encouraging.
Even though he hasn’t been tried on soft ground yet, I do think he’ll handle it, and he did an excellent piece of work the other day. He’s fared a bit better with the draw than our other runner getting stall seven, so I think there’s plenty to like about him, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him run.
Eloped is a really nice scopey filly out of Golden Horn, and I’m looking forward to running her at Newcastle. She just failed to win at Chelmsford during Royal Ascot, but I think the step up in trip will be ideal for her, and although it’s annoying that once again we’ve been unlucky with the draw, hopefully she can get a bit of luck in running.
It’s her first time in a handicap, and I think the handicapper has been reasonable with what he’s given her, so I’m very hopeful that she’ll turn out to be better than a mark of 62 in time, and hopefully she can show us that here.
My default position is that British horses usually beat the French horses, but Blue Rose Cen does look very good. Strange Things can happen at Goodwood, but this is a filly who’s won four times at Longchamp, and Longchamp is the closest track to Goodwood the way they come down the hill there. She also has plenty of form on testing ground, so she does look rock solid.
Caernarfon was disappointing at Ascot last time, and I know was more expected of her in the Hampton Court. She was only beaten three lengths against the colts at Ascot, and maybe she has an each-way chance on the form of her third in the Oaks, and before that when she ran very well in the Guineas.
Nashwa is a very good filly on her day, but the more I look at it the more I think Blue Rose Cen will have to underperform to get beat, and I think she goes there with an outstanding chance.