Hugo Palmer Blog | Chester, York & Leicester

14 Jun 2024
Coral Racing Ambassador, Hugo Palmer, previews his seven runners this Saturday, including Pitney in the 15:20 at Chester.

13:35 Chester – The Flying Seagull

He ran well on his debut at Chester two starts ago, and although he disappointed us a little at Goodwood last time, that is turning out to be quite a hot race, so maybe it was a better effort than it seemed at the time. William Buick did suggest dropping back to 5f with him, but I’m not completely convinced by that, so we are going to give him another go over 6f this weekend.

We were planning on running Arabian Cobra in this, but he got balloted out, so we just have The Flying Seagull in there. He was sharp away at Goodwood last time, so hopefully he can get away well from stall 4, and it’s a valuable pot, so I’m hopeful he can run extremely well.

14:45 Chester – Box to Box

It’s warm and sunny at the moment where I am only a few miles away from Chester, so I’m hoping it stays that way over the next 24 hours. We were quite lucky to have missed the bulk of the rain yesterday, so it would be miraculous if we could miss it again, but we’ll have to wait and see. If it does come up soft, then we’ll have to have a serious think about whether we run him or not as he’s shown us on more than one occasion that decent ground is his optimum.

I thought he was going to get balloted out, but he’s snuck in which I’m delighted with as this has been the plan for him for quite a while. The draw could have been kinder, but he loves Chester, so providing we dodge that rain once again, he’d go there with an excellent chance.

15:20 Chester – Pitney

We really fancied Pitney going into that race at the Guineas meeting, but he really disappointed us that day. I think it knocked his confidence because his work after that was not good at all, so we were about to stop with him and geld him, but he just came back to himself last weekend, so we thought we’d give him another go. The Rowley Mile is a tricky track, and any horse can be forgiven one bad run there, so hopefully he can bounce back to form at Chester this weekend.

It’s a competitive race, but for the prize money that’s on offer, it’s not that good a race, so it looks a good opportunity. I suppose on the eve of Royal Ascot, if you have a 3-y-o rated around 90, then you’re going to head there instead, so it made sense to try this with the pot that’s on offer.

16:10 York – Shamal Wind

Shamal Wind makes his racecourse debut, and being by Dubawi, and a half-brother to a Group 1 winner, we hope he can turn out to be a very nice horse indeed. His half-brother was a champion sprinter, so is he a fast horse, and he’s pleased me with his work at home so far, so he’s ready to head to the track and show us what he can do.

Like many of ours, I expect him to come on plenty for this initial experience, but I think he’s capable of going and hitting the frame if he’s not too green. Whatever happens at York this weekend, I’m sure he’ll be up to winning a maiden soon enough, and hopefully he’ll be a really nice horse for the future.

17:04 Chester – Order Of Malta

If the rain does come and harm Box To Box’s chance, then on the plus side, it will only enhance the chance of Order Of Malta. He’s a typical Lope De Vega with great big feet, so he won’t mind the soft ground, and he’s ran well at Chester before. He was just a bit keen and did a bit too much last time, so we’ve fitted the hood here to try and keep a lid on him, so providing that works, then I think he goes here with a solid chance.

17:35 Chester – Rose Donnelly  

She’s a filly who won’t mind cut in the ground also, but although her big brother Roman Dragon absolutely loves Chester, she is a very different shape and size to him. I think this is the right trip for her, and it’s not a particularly high-quality race, so providing she handles the track at Chester on her first go there, then she’s certainly capable of going well.

21:00 Leicester – Wonder Smile

I’d say I’ll be tucked up in bed watching this at the time they are running it, but they are forecast rain at Leicester over the next 24 hours, so that would cast significant doubt over his participation. They have missed it so far though, so hopefully they do continue to miss it.

He’s in good order at home, and he was much better for being gelded when second at Salisbury last month, so providing he steps forward again from that and the ground doesn’t get too testing, I expect he’ll be very competitive in a race of this nature.

Hugo Palmer, Coral Racing Ambassador
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