Hugo Palmer Saturday Blog | Kempton and Chelmsford

05 Apr 2024
Coral Racing Ambassador, Hugo Palmer, previews his five runners across the cards on Saturday, including Solent Gateway in the Queen's Prize Handicap at Kempton.

13:30 Kempton – Auric

I thought Auric ran really well on his debut at Wolverhampton last month, and Oisin Murphy taking over can only be a positive.

He’s done very well at home since that run, so I’m very hopeful he can improve on that effort here. He stays over 6f which I think is the right trip for him as I do think he’s always looked a sprinter, but It wouldn’t surprise me if he got slightly further in time, but this trip is perfect for him for now.

Everything he’s shown us at home suggests he should be winning races sooner rather than later, so with normal improvement from that first start, I think he can definitely go close here.

15:15 Kempton – Solent Gateway

He was very disappointing at Lingfield last time, and I’m just not sure he enjoyed galloping downhill there, so it just didn’t work out for him. He never really got into a rhythm, and he just ended up in a bit of a fight for the lead, so I’m hoping he can leave that effort well behind this weekend.

He’s always given us the impression that he prefers to go left-handed, but he has run well at Kempton before, so hopefully it won’t be too much of an issue for him. There seems to be quite a lot of pace in the race which wouldn’t be ideal as I think we see the best of Solent Gateway when he gets an easy lead, but maybe we’ll just be able to tuck in behind the leaders if they do go hard from the front.

He’s looked in good order at home the last few days, so if the race is run to suit, then hopefully he can step forward from that Lingfield run.

15:30 Chelmsford – Under The Sun

Under The Sun has had a really good winter, and I think everybody knows I think quite a lot of this horse. He’s certainly grown and developed through the Winter months, but he did show some smart form at two, and the only blip really was when we ran him in the Convivial at York. With the benefit of hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have run him there, but when you’re favourite for a race worth £100,000, it’s very difficult not to take your chance.

I’d love to be running him on good ground on the turf about now, but there doesn’t seem to be any of that around. I’d also like to be starting him over a mile and a quarter, but there just aren’t the races for him at the moment.

I think this is a good starting point for him, and although it does look a good race, I’m hoping he can be competitive in it, and we can base his season around what he does here.

17:15 Chelmsford – Zivaniya

Zivaniya has really improved lately for the fitting of a tongue-tie, and it just seems to have helped him breath in a bit of a rhythm through his races. He’s only creeping up the handicap, and the 2lb rise he’s got for his win last time isn’t overly harsh, so I thought while he’s in good form we might as well crack on and run him again.

He’s drawn slightly wide, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue if Ross Coakley can get him into a nice position, and I think he’s capable of running another really big race here.

17:45 Chelmsford  Souffionne

Souffionne won one of the worst horse races ever run when getting off the mark at Newcastle in November, and he has just struggled a little bit since then. We’ve tried headgear, but that doesn’t really seem to be working, and although he’s not running badly, he’s not looking like winning in it either.

We’ve left the headgear off here, and as many followers of the yard will know, this is something we did very successfully with How Impressive, so hopefully it will have a similar effect on Souffionne.

The handicapper is relenting a little bit, so hopefully he’s coming down to a mark he can be competitive off, but I’d say we are going there in hope rather than expectation.

Hugo Palmer, Coral Racing Ambassador
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