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Hugo Palmer: He’s very much my favourite horse in the yard

| 11.08.2023

Top trainer and Coral ambassador Hugo Palmer discusses his Saturday runners at Ascot, Ayr, Haydock and Redcar.

Redcar 2.03 – Teddy’s Dawn

Teddy’s Dawn is a well-bred filly who is a half-sister to our very own Flaming Rib, and she’s actually owned by a few of the same people. She’s taken quite a long time to strengthen up and come to hand, but she’s ready to go now and I’m looking forward to getting her started.

She should know her job and this isn’t a particularly strong maiden, so while I expect she’ll step forward for the outing, it wouldn’t completely surprise me if she went close. Her brother is very talented, so we wouldn’t mind if she turns out like him, but my sister is a very talented athlete, so it doesn’t always translate to the siblings!

Ascot 2.10 – Zoffee

He’s very much my favourite horse in the yard Zoffee, I love how he looks, and I love how hard he tries for you. He’s had a nice break since being beaten in the Northumberland Plate and, if truth be told, we were disappointed with him that day, but it did come quickly after he’d run his heart out at Royal Ascot, so the break should do him the world of good.

Two miles is definitely his trip and he’s been dropped 1lb in the weights since his last run, so I don’t see any reason why he won’t go extremely close. He’s looking very well at home and it’s nice to have Frankie Dettori back on board, so hopefully he can go and get his head back in front.

Ascot 2.45 – Nolton Cross

He ran very well at Ascot last time and he seemed to show a liking for the track, so we thought it would be sensible to come back here. We’ve often wondered whether he was just an all-weather horse, as he’d let us down on turf a number of times, but I’ve come to the conclusion he likes a turning track.

He’s disappointed us at Newmarket and Goodwood, but he’s performed well at Ascot and Haydock, so I think a more flat, turning track is what he likes. He does need a decent gallop to aim at, so hopefully the race will be run to suit, but we have Hayley Turner on board, and she always seems to ride out of her skin in the Shergar Cup, so hopefully she can give him a really good ride.

Hugo Palmer, Michael Owen, Coral, horse racing

Haydock 4.10 – Stenton Glider

We have once again been unfortunate with the draw, being in stall 15 of 16, but there’s not much we can do about that. She’s done precious little wrong this year, but at the same time we are still short of our first stakes win with her.

The only time she’s really disappointed us was in the Guineas, but that came hot off the back of the Fred Darling, so we can certainly forgive her that. Quite a few fillies that disappointed in the Guineas have come out and done well, so I’m hoping Stenton Glider can get her much-deserved second victory this weekend.

I think Haydock will suit her and she’s versatile with regards to the ground, so as long as the draw isn’t too much of an inconvenience, then I think she goes there with a massive chance. Breege’s form when second in a Group 3 at Goodwood last time probably makes her the one to beat, and she does look a worthy favourite, but we are one of the least exposed horses in the field, and I think we should be right on the premises.

Haydock 5.50 – How Impressive

He has been frustrating actually, as whenever we’ve entered him for a race, he seems to pick up a little injury and find an excuse not to run. His behaviour has got quite a lot worse too of late, and he was really poorly behaved the last day at Chester, but we’ll mount him on the track at Haydock this time, and we’ll just do all we can to get him down to post in one piece.

He’s got a good draw in stall two, and Richard Kingscote knows Haydock as well as anybody, so providing he does behave himself, then I’d be hopeful he’d have a big chance. We have fitted the visor here as we just felt he gave up very quickly at Chester last time, and maybe that will just bring about some improvement.

Ayr 8.07 – He’s A Gentleman

He’s A Gentleman has ran well on his last few starts, and I think ground just on the slower side of good is what he wants. He didn’t quite see the trip out like we hoped he would at Haydock last time, so hopefully this extended 7f might just be the halfway house that we need.

He is starting to look very well-handicapped on his best form, and I’m just hoping he might be hard to pass at a track that does suit front-runners, so hopefully Pierre-Louis Jamin can get a lead and save a bit for the finish, but I definitely think he’s capable of winning this.


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Tony Kelshaw