Hugo Palmer Blog | Chester Day Two

09 May 2024
Coral Racing Ambassador, Hugo Palmer, provides an exclusive preview of his nine runners on the second day of the Chester May Meeting, including L'Astronome in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes. 
13:30 Chester – Roman Dragon

On the face of it, being drawn in stall 1 is the plum draw, but Roman Dragon is probably the one horse I wouldn’t want to be bang on the inside, but it’s certainly better than being stuck out wide. He’s really well at home at the moment, and he’s been very fresh and full of himself lately which is always a good sign with Roman Dragon. He did very well over in Bahrain earlier this year, and although all of his wins have come over six furlongs, he ran extremely well when third over the minimum trip there, so he should be capable of winning over five furlongs around Chester.

I see he was installed as the early favourite by the bookmakers which is interesting, but he’ll love the ground, and Oisin (Murphy) is booked, so we are very hopeful that he’ll go very close once again at his beloved Chester.

14:05 Chester – King Of Angels

As I always say, we aren’t renowned for having first-time-out winners, but King Of Angels has probably had more experience of going to a racecourse than any debutant I’ve ever entered. He’s had three racecourse gallops at Wolverhampton, he’s been to Newmarket to work in the stalls, and he went to Windsor the other day for a stalls test, so he’s got plenty of experience for one making their debut.

He’s drawn in stall 9 which isn’t ideal, but because he has had a few issues with the stalls, he will be allowed to go in last, so hopefully it will just be in and away and he can make a nice start, because he definitely has ability.

14:05 Chester – The Flying Seagull

The Flying Seagull would be more of a typical first-time-out horse for us, but he does have a nicer draw than King Of Angels in stall 4. He’s a really nice horse for the future, and he’s related to plenty of winners, so I’m sure he’ll be winning races before too long. Oisin Murphy is booked, so it’s good to have such an experienced jockey on board, and I’d say whatever happens here, he’ll benefit hugely from the experience.

14:05 Chester – Far Above Mary

Far Above Mary hasn’t done a lot wrong in her three starts, but she has been crying out for this step up to six furlongs. She hasn’t suggested that she’s a winner of a Chester maiden in waiting, but that being said, she’s got a super draw in stall 2, she’s shown fabulous gate speed on her starts to date, and she’s the most experienced runner in the field.

I do expect she’ll be up against it at this level, but her experience will stand her in good stead, and maybe she can just outrun her odds.

14:35 Chester – Grey Cuban

At one stage I had about eight horses written down for this race, so to get away with only running three is a bit of a result. Grey Cuban would have to be our best chance because he’s the highest rated of them, he has the best draw, and I think he’s the horse that brings the most potential to the race. The way he went around Wolverhampton last time really impressed me, and he’s such a nice horse, you can put him anywhere in the race, and he really tries hard for you.

I expect the favourite of Sir Michael Stoute’s to be difficult to beat taking into account his narrow defeat to Vandeek last year, but if we do have one in the race that can beat him, then I suspect it will be Grey Cuban.

14:35 Chester – Gunfighter

Gunfighter should love the quick ground at Chester this week, and although his best form has come on the all-weather, the only time he really disappointed us on turf was on soft ground at Windsor. We’ve kept him busy through the winter, so he shouldn’t be lacking for fitness, and he’s really pleased us at home lately, so it wouldn’t be a big surprise if he showed up well.

He is drawn widest of all, but Richard Kingscote rides him, and his strength is getting into a good position around Chester, so hopefully he can get competitive.

14:35 Chester – Havanarama

It’s great that Havanarama has got in this race, but he is 2lb out of the handicap which makes life difficult. He made a nice start here at Chester last year, but he just didn’t really go on from that, and it wasn’t until we switched him to the all-weather that his form really took off.

It’s nice to have Hayley Turner on board as she is another rider who knows Chester well, but while Havanarama will win more races in the future, it would be a very pleasant surprise if he was able to win a 0-105 race from out of the handicap.

15:40 Chester – L’Astronome

He ran really well at Chester on his first start for us, and he just didn’t stay at Newbury the other day. He’s got a lovely draw in stall 2, but he’s going to have to run right up to his best if he’s going to win this. He is capable of putting that sort of performance in, and it’s interesting that the Racing Post ratings have his best run down as when he ran at Chester last year, but he will have to improve on that again I suspect in a race of this quality.

He’s a lovely horse, and I hope he can handle the ground as it’s a little bit quicker than what he’s accustomed to, but he’s in excellent form at home, so I hope he can do himself justice.

16:45 Chester – It’s Not Risky

It’s Not Risky runs in the last race on the card for us, and he arrives here in very good form after two wins and a good third on the all-weather back in January. Even though he ran well the last time, it was probably just a race too many for him in that short window, so we’ve just freshened him up before this. That was his first go at a mile and a half too, but I don’t think he got beat because he didn’t stay, it was probably as I said just one race too many.

I think he’ll relish the trip here, he’s grown a bit over the last few months, and he’s in really good order at home, so hopefully he can return to winning ways at a track he has ran well at before.

Hugo Palmer, Coral Racing Ambassador
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