Hugo Palmer Blog | Newmarket, Thirsk and Yarmouth

03 May 2024
Coral Racing Ambassador, Hugo Palmer, previews his three runners on Saturday, including Pitney in the 17:15 at Newmarket.

16:55 Thirsk –  Fleur De Mer

She was supposed to run at Doncaster a few days ago, but there was just a mix-up with her vaccination, but at least we can run her here on Saturday now. She’s a very consistent filly, and I thought she was a little bit unlucky when finishing second at this track last time, but I do still think there’s some improvement in her. She made lots of late headway that day, so I’m hopeful this step up in trip will suit her, and we should have slower ground up at Thirsk which I think is exactly what she wants.

Queensland Boy of Ian Williams’ could be the main danger, but Fleur De Mer always gives her running, and she is dropping in grade, so providing that she stays the trip, then I think she goes there with a definite chance.

17:15 Newmarket –  Pitney

This looks a very competitive handicap for the grade, but while plenty of the runners look to have potential, not many are as lightly raced as Pitney. I’ve been very happy with his work at home of late, and he’s been working with some good horses who have been winning recently, so that is always a good sign. He’s never ran on turf, and while we have no reason to believe he won’t handle it, you never quite know until you try it.

£15,000 to the winner for horses rated in the early 80’s is not bad prize money, and I think looking at the early prices he is up near the head of the market, so as competitive a race as it is, I’d be hopeful that he won’t be too far away.

19:35 Yarmouth – Phone Tag

I’m hoping there’s not too much rain at Yarmouth over the next 24 hours as he showed us last season that he does prefer better ground. He was just over the top a little by the time he had his final run last season, but Oisin Murphy was very complimentary about him when he won on him two starts ago, and he felt there were plenty more races to be won with him.

There are a few unexposed types in the race, but he’s another horse who’s been pleasing us with his work at home of late, so although the early betting forecast has him as one of the outsiders, I certainly think he goes there with a chance.

2000 Guineas

This is obviously a race that revolves around City Of Troy from a betting point of view, but I’m against him personally, and I don’t think he’ll win. The vast majority of odds-on favourites in the Guineas get stuffed, and I think you’ve got to go back to Frankel to find the last odds-on winner, so he doesn’t have history on his side. He’s out of a champion two-year-old who didn’t win again after her two-year-old season, and I know he’s by a stallion that didn’t race at two, but I’d just have my doubts about him being as good at three as he looked at two.

Although he showed plenty of speed last year, the vibes I get from Ballydoyle are that they think he’s more of a mile and a quarter plus horse, and there are plenty of horses that have been beaten in the Guineas that have gone on to do great things later in the season. I’d also be surprised if he’s allowed as easy a lead as he’s had in other races, and I suspect Saffie Osborne will be up there hassling him on Ten Bob Tony, so he might just not have things his own way.

I thought Haatem looked very good in the Craven a few weeks ago, and he looked tough and race-fit, so although the vibes from Richard Hannon’s yard are that Rosallion is a superior horse, it just wouldn’t surprise me if he hit the frame at a big price. City Of Troy could well turn out to be the second coming, but with so many talented unexposed horses in the race, I’d be very comfortable taking him on.

Hugo Palmer, Coral Racing Ambassador
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