Hugo Palmer Good Friday Blog | Lingfield and Chelmsford

28 Mar 2024
Coral Racing Ambassador, Hugo Palmer, provides an exclusive preview of his four runners on Good Friday, including two in the All-Weather Sprint Vase at Lingfield.

15:50 Lingfield – Prince Of Zenda

I’d have liked to have taken Prince Of Zenda to Newcastle, but he just missed out by one, so he’ll run at Lingfield instead. He’s really improved for going back sprinting recently, and although everything he showed us as a young horse indicated he was a miler, we might have been running him over the wrong trip with the benefit of hindsight. He’s going really nicely at home, and although he’s gone up in the weights, there could just be a bit more to come from him.

He is drawn a bit wide, but as is often the case in these races when there’s a lot of money on offer, everybody gets a bit excited and goes too hard upfront, so that could play into our hands if we just take our medicine and ride a patient race from our wide draw. It’s great to have Shane Foley riding for me again as I think the last time he rode for me was when he won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes on Ebro River, so hopefully he can continue to go well for the yard.

15:50 Lingfield – How Impressive

It’s never ideal running two horses against each other who you think both have a solid chance, but that’s the situation we find ourselves in here. How Impressive has had much more fortune with regards to the draw, and although we’ll certainly be forward on him, he doesn’t necessarily have to lead. Brandon Wilkie knows the horse well, so I’m sure he’ll ride a sensible race and hopefully won’t go too hard up front and set it up for one of the closers.

He’s been a revelation this year since we took the headgear off, and he’s taken us all a little bit by surprise. They’ve hiked him up 5lb for his narrow win at Southwell last time which seems a little bit harsh, but Brandon’s claim will negate that, and I’m struggling to separate our two runners, so I wouldn’t mind a dead-heat!

17:00 Lingfield – Balon D’or

Balon D’or has been running in a much more competitive grade than this, and off his reduced mark, he could just go well here. We’ve put some headgear on him, not because I think he’s not trying, but I’m just hoping it will sharpen him up and help him focus.

He’s got a really nice draw in stall 2, and although it’s a very competitive handicap, he will appreciate these slightly calmer waters. I’d be very hopeful he’s capable of winning a handicap like this off a mark of 79, so I think he’s certainly capable of running a big race here, and it would be a nice prize to win.

17:10 Chelmsford – Swordstick

It’s fantastic to have £35,000 in the pot for a 0-75 handicap, and we’ve been extremely lucky with the draw in stall 1, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing him run. He was very good on debut, and he did nothing wrong when beaten by an odds-on shot of Godolphin’s last month at Wolverhampton, so hopefully he’ll step forward again from that.

His work at home since has been very pleasing, and he’s a lovely big horse, so I think he’ll get a mile and a half in time, and I think he’ll just keep improving as time goes on. It’s a competitive race, but we know he likes the all-weather, and he ticks a lot of boxes in this contest, so I’m very positive about his chance.

Hugo Palmer, Coral Racing Ambassador
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