Hugo Palmer: We are very happy with the ground for Brad The Brief
Top trainer and Coral ambassador Hugo Palmer discusses his weekend runners at Goodwood, Newmarket, Thirsk, Chester, Deauville and Haydock.
I always liked her attitude and how she did things at home, but her first few starts just didn’t go right for her. She ran well in the Lily Agnes on debut, but then she just disappointed in her two starts after that. I was conscious that she was a late foal, so having had those three runs to qualify for a mark, we just gave her a month or so to strengthen up and come forward.
We were obviously delighted when she won on her handicap debut at Haydock last month (pictured above), and I was really impressed with her that day. We were going to run her at Windsor about 10 days ago, but we spotted this £40,000 pot and thought we’d save her and take our chance here. I know there’s plenty of rain forecast at Newmarket, but the ground was on the easier side of good at Haydock so I’d hope that doesn’t inconvenience her and I’m very hopeful she can run a big race.
Being drawn 10 of 10 is a real nuisance, and Tom Eaves who rides her here is going to have to be very clever from that draw. Her comeback run at Carlisle was very disappointing, but she ran much better last time and proved that there are races still to be won with her.
She’s down below her last winning mark, so she’s certainly handicapped to win, and she doesn’t mind a bit of cut in the ground, so hopefully she can get into a good position, and I’d love to think she’d have a solid chance of getting her head back in front.
Imperial Ace goes in the lucky last at Goodwood, and I think the nine-furlong trip will be the perfect trip for him. He had a horrible draw at Ascot last time, and because of that he got caught too far back, but he’s been in great form at home since then. He has a much better draw this time in stall five, so hopefully that means he can just travel behind the leaders and get into a good rhythm.
He’s a nice balanced horse, so I’m confident he’ll handle the track, and although the ground could be pretty cut up by 5.20 on Saturday, he is out of Lope De Vega, so I’m very hopeful he can handle it.
The ground looks like it could be pretty testing on Sunday at Chester, but Zivaniya should certainly relish that. He had been a bit disappointing on his first few starts this year, but he bounced back to form with a good second at Wolverhampton last month, and although he’s 2lb higher here, I think he can go very well.
We are well drawn in stall three, and he’s in receipt of plenty of weight from his rivals, so with Hayley Turner on board for the first time, hopefully he can go extremely close.
It was very annoying when Pretence went up 5lb the other day for standing in her box. The horse she finished second to here last time was placed in a listed race, so it’s always annoying when you wake up on a Tuesday morning to find out you’ve been shoved up 5lb for doing nothing.
I do still think she’s off a mark she can be very competitive off, and we’ve had a bit of luck with the draw which is very unlike us. Harry Davies who is on board only needs one more winner to ride out his claim, so he’s claiming a very valuable 3lb off her back. She’s won at Chester so we know she handles the track, and fingers crossed she can go very well.
I’m really looking forward to running Brad The Brief here, and I think the race has cut up quite a bit. I wouldn’t have been keen on taking on Kinross, so I was relieved when he went to Goodwood, and Al Suhail was entered here but he’s not declared, so plenty of these better sprinters that could have turned up haven’t.
I can see Coolmore have supplemented Little Big Bear, and although it appeared he was going backwards when hampered in the July Cup last time, you’d always have to have enormous respect when Aidan O’Brien supplements a horse for a Group 1.
We are very happy with the ground for Brad The Brief, his work on Tuesday morning this week was very pleasing, and I don’t think this is the strongest Group 1 in the world, so he goes there with a good chance. David Egan is on board too who’s won on him, so hopefully everything goes to plan, and he can run a big race.
It’s already heavy ground at Haydock, and there’s plenty of rain forecast there over the next 24 hours, so I’d be amazed if the meeting goes ahead, but hopefully I’m wrong.
Watcha Matey is out of a Kendargent mare, and he has a nice round action, so I’m hopeful he can handle the ground. He didn’t do a lot wrong when he was second on his handicap debut at Leicester the other day, and he has a nice draw here, so with the assistance of Richard Kingscote who is the best jockey at Haydock, I’m hoping for a big run if the meeting does go ahead.