Hugo Palmer Blog | Saturday

29 Jun 2024
Coral Racing Ambassador, Hugo Palmer, previews his nine runners across the cards on Saturday, including Zoffee and Solent Gateway in the Northumberland Plate.

13:50 Chester – Misty Sky

One of the oldest sayings in the book is that horses make fools of you, and that couldn’t have been more true than when Misty Sky stood still in the stalls on her debut at Pontefract last time. She’d given us absolutely no indication that that was going to happen, and all her stalls work at home had been very satisfactory, so it still remains a mystery to this day.

She’s been as good as gold since, so I’m hopeful we won’t see a repeat of that, but I said to the owners that we’d run her close to home next time just in case she does it again. She does actually have a fair level of ability, and she should be up to winning a race like this, but she’s got to take part if she’s going to win, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

13:50 Chester – The Flying Seagull

The Flying Seagull has got a nice draw in stall 3, and although we were a little disappointed with him at Goodwood two starts ago, with hindsight, that was probably quite a nice race that he contested that day. He ran very nicely back here at Chester last time, and this doesn’t look the strongest maiden there’s ever been, so I would suspect he’ll be favourite or very close to it.

He’s been in good form at home since, and it looks like he only really has newcomers to beat I suspect, so I’d be very hopeful that he can get the job done.

14:15 Newmarket – It Ain’t Two

We’ve tried her at this level before and it didn’t quite go right for her in the Marygate at York, so I’m hoping things will pan out much better this time around. She wasn’t actually beaten that far that day, and things just didn’t go to plan, but she was much better back in calmer waters at Carlisle last time. William Buick got off her after the York race and said she was crying out for 6f, and she certainly seemed to relish it last time, so we are trying her again in a Listed race over this longer trip.

She looks fantastic in her coat at the moment, and I’d say she’s grown a little bit over the last few weeks, so although she’ll have to step forward again, I think she can run well and hopefully get some black type for us.

14:42 Windsor – Dubai Bling

Dubai Bling slightly surprised us when making a winning start at Haydock last time, not because he hadn’t shown us ability, but we just felt it was a strong race with some expensive types in there. He didn’t actually have to have a hard time to win, and I thought he was expertly handled by David Probert that day, so everything went very much to plan for him.

His work at home since has proved to us that he’s a horse with plenty of ability, and a horse that will try really hard for you, so the signs are very encouraging. I expect he’ll need to improve again to defy the penalty, but we always expect our horses to improve from their first run, so hopefully he can do just that and maintain his unbeaten record.

15:10 Newcastle  Zoffee

This has been the plan all along for Zoffee, even when we were stood in the winner’s enclosure after he’d won the Chester Cup, so I’m really looking forward to the race. There was no conversation of Ascot this year, I think this is the right race for him, and I’m very happy with his draw in stall 13, so everything so far has certainly gone to plan. Harry [Davies] gave him an excellent ride last time, and I think the draw gives Harry plenty of space, and plenty of options to be able to hopefully get him settled into a nice position.

He’s shown a liking for the surface at Newcastle before, and I think the long straight there suits him well, so I’m hoping there won’t be any excuses. The guys who ride him at home are all really happy with him, so he comes here in excellent order, and he has a fantastic chance of pulling off what would be a very famous double.

15:10 Newcastle – Solent Gateway

Zoffee would look our main chance in the Northumberland Plate, but I was pleased to see Solent Gateway return to some form last time at Haydock. We were beginning to get a little frustrated with him, but everything that could have gone wrong for him in the Chester Cup sort of did, so we did think he was better than that performance. He’s a horse that needs to get into a rhythm, so I’m glad that he’s drawn near the fence as that should allow him to go forward and get himself into a nice rhythm because I’d hate to see him buried behind a wall of horses on the inside.

He’s also run plenty of good races on this surface, and he’s been placed in this race before when third behind Trueshan, so although Zoffee would look like our main chance, this horse is by no means there to make up the numbers.

15:35 Chester  Gunfighter

Gunfighter just didn’t quite seem to go through with his final winning effort last time at Haydock, and I’m not sure if that was because he didn’t quite stay the mile, or whether he just needed that little bit of help, so we’ve put cheekpieces on him just to hopefully help him go through with that final effort. It might be that the handicapper also has him in his grasp now, so we have Aidan Keeley on him taking a valuable 3lb off, and he has a nice draw, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to me at all if he runs a big race.

It amazes me that we can only get seven runners for a race like this that’s worth £40,000, but our horse is in really good shape, and I’m hoping he can finally get off the mark on turf this weekend.

20:00 Doncaster – The Bitter Moose

The Bitter Moose has been in super order lately, and he just didn’t handle Newmarket on his first start of the season, and he hasn’t had much luck on his two runs at Lingfield since, so I’m happy to forgive him those efforts. We are running him at Doncaster as it’s a track that’s a lot less complicated for him, and I hope things can go to plan for him on Saturday evening.

He’s a horse with plenty of ability, and I’m sure he can win races off this mark, so if things do go smoothly, I expect he’ll be bang there at the finish.

21:00 Doncaster – Havanarama

Havanarama ran a nice race last time under similar conditions, but Oisin [Murphy] felt he just got there a tad too soon that day, and he was in front for an awfully long time. We might just look to hold onto him for a little bit longer this time, and hopefully Ross Coakley will count to 10 if he’s travelling well heading for home.

He’s another horse who I think is certainly capable of winning races off his mark, so hopefully that win will come at Doncaster this weekend.

Hugo Palmer, Coral Racing Ambassador
Welcome to the Coral Racing Club
CRC Badge 200x200
Opt in for free to check out our stable of horses and trainers, get daily behind-the-scenes updates, plus the chance to win exclusive yard visits, hospitality experiences and raceday tickets.
Create new or log in to your Coral account to join the club
By opting in to the Coral Racing Club you agree to be bound by certain terms and conditions. View full T&Cs here.