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Hugo Palmer: He beat them all last year, and I think he’ll beat them all again

| 20.10.2023

Top trainer and Coral ambassador Hugo Palmer discusses his one runner at Wolverhampton on Saturday plus his thoughts on British Champions Day 2023.

Wolverhampton 7.30 – Running Star

Even though there’s meetings being called off all over the country at the moment, I don’t think we’ll have any problems at Wolverhampton, so we are looking forward to seeing Running Star make his second start there in the novice race on Saturday evening.

He’s a backward type of horse who took a long time to come to hand, but he’s there now and his work of late has been really pleasing. I thought it was a very encouraging start at Southwell when third behind a couple of horses with experience, and he just shaped like this longer trip would suit him even more that day, so I’m sure he’ll relish the extra distance tomorrow.

He is in the horses in training sale, so this could be his final start for us, but I’m hoping if he can win this in good style then we might be able to convince the owner to keep him, but we’ll see how things pan out tomorrow night.

He’s nicely bred, and he has a good draw in stall five, so it would be lovely if he could win tomorrow, but I think whatever happens here, he’ll be a lovely horse for the future.

Champions Day thoughts

There are quite a few interesting horses running at Ascot tomorrow, but at the same time this is not flat racing for me. My advice to anybody wanting to have a bet tomorrow at Ascot would be to look at the older geldings with proven form on testing ground. You’d want to be looking for the type of horse that if they stayed three miles would be heading to Cheltenham rather than Royal Ascot, as I can see this getting very attritional tomorrow afternoon.

I’m amazed they are running Paddington tomorrow, because if he was mine, I think I’d just be heading straight to the Breeders’ Cup, and I’m also amazed they are running Tahiyra, but they are both clearly very talented horses.

If you are going to take these fancy three-year-olds on, then a French four-year-old gelding would be a good place to start, and I can see Facteur Cheval running well at a nice price. He has a bit to find on the figures, but he has plenty of form on testing ground in France, and he appears to be exactly the type of horse that should cope with these conditions better than most.

I presumed Bay Bridge would be favourite for the Champion Stakes, so I was amazed when I had a look and saw he was as big as 5/1. He’s a very, very good horse Bay Bridge, and he handles cut in the ground as most of New Bay’s offspring do, so I really think he’ll take all the beating here. He won the race last year, and I thought he was incredibly impressive when winning the September Stakes a few starts ago when looking as good as ever, so although I’m not a bookmaker or a gambler, I’d have him as pretty short-price favourite for this. He beat them all last year, I think he’ll beat them all again tomorrow, and I’d make him my banker of the weekend.


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Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.