Hugo Palmer: I can’t help but feel we’re overpriced
Top trainer and Coral ambassador Hugo Palmer discusses his Glorious Goodwood runner on Wednesday and gives us his thoughts on the Sussex Stakes.
This has very much been the plan all along for Hackman ever since he won at Chester. We were obviously extremely disappointed with his run in the Windsor Castle, and even though he was beaten a fair way by Kylian in the Dragon Stakes last time, one of the owners told me Hackman did actually touch odds-on in running that day.
On the face of it six lengths is a substantial distance to overturn, particularly over 5f, but I do think there are reasons to believe it could be a different story. Goodwood is a much sharper track than Sandown and it’s a very different test for these horses. I also noticed Kylian has never raced on anything slower than good, and he was actually withdrawn on debut on account of soft ground, so that could just be a question mark for him.
Hackman’s win came on soft ground at Chester, so conditions shouldn’t hold any problems for him, and I do think he’s better than he’s shown on his last few starts, so I can’t help but feel we’re overpriced at 25/1 at the time of writing. It’s not often you’d get excited about running a horse rated 87 in a Group 3, but I think there’s a variety of reasons why he might step forward, and I’m really looking forward to running him.
Sussex Stakes thoughts
I was a bit negative about this year’s three-year-olds on Saturday when talking about the King George, and I think that race on Saturday probably proved that Paddington is the best of that crop, so I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do here.
I think we were all surprised when Triple Time won the Queen Anne as he was only rated 107 going into the race. I don’t think Inspiral did a great deal wrong that day, and sometimes you get results that are just extraordinary, and for whatever reason Ascot just seemed to throw up a number of those results this year. Inspiral was certainly the best of her generation last year, and it was just a shame that she didn’t make it to the Guineas for whatever reason.
You’d have to feel it’s between Paddington and Inspiral, but the filly has been kept away from extreme ground in her life, so the ground could be a question mark for her. She disappointed in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes last year on ground that was described as good to soft, but I don’t think any of us believe that was the true going, and if conditions do get very bad then maybe you’d have to consider a horse like Aldaary. Each of his six career wins have come with soft in the going description, so while on the face of it he’d have a bit to find with the principals, you’d always have to respect a horse when they get their optimum conditions.
Paddington has already won races this year on soft and heavy ground, and it was given good when he beat Emily Upjohn in the Coral-Eclipse on his latest start, so he appears to be pretty versatile when it comes the ground. It won’t be easy against these more experienced rivals, but he does just seem to keep improving with every run, and I think he’s the one they all have to beat.