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Hugo Palmer: Ground will be perfect and we’re really happy with her

| 22.09.2023
SPORTSBOOK ODDS

Top trainer and Coral ambassador Hugo Palmer gives his thoughts on the year so far and talks about the prospects of  Saturday’s three runners at Newmarket and Wolverhampton.

In many ways we’ve had quite a frustrating season to date, but I’m delighted that we’ve been getting our head in front on a more regular basis in the last few weeks. I think we had a period in July where we had nine horses finish second in the space of a week which was quite incredible, but thankfully that consistency has been rewarded of late.

We’re on 45 winners with still a quarter of the year to go, and I think that’s the same as we had in the whole of 2022, so unless the next few months are a total disaster, we should comfortably surpass what we achieved last year. That’s what I really wanted to see. I wanted to see the team make progress after that first year, and I think we are in good shape moving forward, so that’s really exciting.

I’ve had a really busy few weeks out and about at the sales, and having been in Ireland earlier in the week, I’m now back in Cheshire for a few days before heading back over to Ireland this weekend. It’s considerably easier to get through these busy weeks if the horses are running well, and that seems to be the case at the moment, so long may it continue.

We’ve bought some nice horses at the sales recently, and although you can never determine when you’re going to hit form, now is probably not a bad time to do it. We are obviously trying to attract new owners and we have some really nice young horses to sell, so it helps when you’re having winners as people will notice, and generally your owners are feeling confident and more enthusiastic about the possibility of buying another one.

We only have three runners on Saturday, but hopefully they’ll all run nice races and keep this good run going.

16.35 Newmarket – Chelsea Green

Newmarket is obviously a tricky track, but she’s won there before which is a good thing, but so have Therapy and Madame Ambassador who are also in the race. She doesn’t want fast ground, and even though it’s fairly dry down there over the next 24 hours, you get very cool nights and plenty of dew in Newmarket at this time of year, so the ground should remain on the slow side of good which will be perfect for her.

Newmarket Racecourse

She did really well in a Listed race at Vichy last time, but that was a long trip for her down there, and it took her a long time just to come back to herself. We’ve given her a few months off just to allow her to come back to form, and I must say I’m very happy with her now.

This looks a typically competitive Newmarket handicap, so you’d imagine Chelsea Green will need a career-best off a mark of 92, but she’s still fairly lightly raced, so I’d be hopeful there’s more to come from her. She seemed to stay this trip well at Vichy last time, so even though it will be a tough task giving the weight away, she carries it because technically she’s the best horse in the race, so let’s hope she can prove to be just that.

18:30 Wolverhampton – Cheshire Dancer

I must admit I find it very frustrating that the BHA refuse to give horses like Cheshire Dancer a handicap mark. We’ve played an honest hand and trained the horse to run well, and she’s run well on two occasions in races with evidence around them, so they’ve had the opportunity to give her a mark and chosen not to. We now have to do this ridiculous thing of running under a penalty, which is a difficult thing to do, but we are claiming 3lb of it back with having Taylor Fisher on board, and I do think she’s a nice filly for the future.

I see Unico and Perfect View are non-runners which is quite handy as both we’re drawn on our inside, so that will at least make life a bit easier from stall seven. Cheshire Dancer won her maiden at Beverley last time in nice style, but that was over a slightly further trip, and Beverley is a stiff track, so I’m not entirely sure how well she’ll handle coming back in trip, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’d have thought the horse we are going to have to beat is George Scott’s horse Seax who ran well on his first start at Ascot, but I do like our filly, and I think whatever happens here she’ll be a horse to look forward to for the future.

20:00 Wolverhampton – Glittering Choice

Glittering Choice ran so well at Carlisle in July when finishing second, but she’s run rotten races either side of that, so we’ve been scratching our heads with what to do with her. I did toy with the idea of taking the headgear off altogether, but I’ve decided to upgrade the visor to a pair of blinkers instead. When she was struggling last year, it was the fitting of cheekpieces and then a visor that saw her step forward, so I’m hoping the blinkers will have the same effect.

She’s in the horses in training sale, so I suspect whatever happens here this will be her final start for us, but it would be nice if we could send her there off the back of a win.

Hugo

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Warren Barner