Hugo Palmer Friday and Saturday Blog

17 May 2024
Coral Racing Ambassador, Hugo Palmer, previews his six runners across the cards this Friday and Saturday, including It Ain't Two in the opener on the final day of the Dante Meeting at York.


14:15 York – It Ain’t Two

It Ain’t Two was a lovely surprise when she made a winning start at Newmarket last time because we’d been underwater for so long with such a wet spring, and we couldn’t use our main gallops for a number of weeks leading up to her run. She had had a racecourse gallop at Wolverhampton, and she’d obviously just quietly improved at home in those few weeks leading up to her debut run.

There didn’t seem to be any fluke about her win either, and she was a little bit green when she hit the front, but Ross Coakley who rode her that day thought there’d be plenty of improvement to come from her. The form of the race has certainly worked out, and plenty of them were fancied beforehand, so we might just have a very nice filly on our hands.

Her work at home lately has been superb, and Oisin Murphy came and had a sit on her the other day and absolutely loved her, but he’s retained on Running Queen, and having William Buick in the saddle is certainly no bad thing. The sound surface should her, the track will be fine, and I’m really looking forward to running her.

16:35 Newbury – Prince Iago

Even though he was well-beaten at Chester last week, he probably improved slightly from his debut effort, but I do suspect he’ll find this tough once again. Houstonn looks the one who sets the standard, but Trouville wasn’t a bad second on his debut, so there are a few nice types in there.

Prince Iago is a nice horse, and I’m sure he’ll be winning races in time, so while I expect him to step forward again from that Chester run, we probably won’t see the best of him until he’s in handicaps over a mile and a half and he’s been gelded.

16:45 York – How Impressive

He’s had a busy time of it through the winter How Impressive, but he remains in good form at home, and he’s seemingly taking his racing well. I wasn’t thrilled with his head carriage on his last couple of starts, but rather than reach for the headgear, we just decided to treat his joints. Sometimes these older horses can start to feel it a bit, but he looks fantastic now, and he’s moving really well at home, so I couldn’t be much happier with him.

It does look a competitive race, and I suspect he’s still a little bit high in the weights given that his only turf win came off 11lb lower, but he has a nice draw, and I suspect he’ll run his race once again.

17:40 Newbury – Rose Donnelly

Rose Donnelly ran well on her handicap debut at Ayr the other day, and Danny Tudhope who rode her there just felt she wanted a longer trip and some cut in the ground, and that’s exactly what we’ve managed to find for her. Danny did say she’d have no problem winning races, and I certainly agree, but this does look quite a hot race for the grade with many of them coming here in good form.

We might be entering a bit of a dry period now, and I just felt it was important to run her while we can, so hopefully she’ll relish the conditions at York and run another nice race.

19:15 Hamilton – Navarre Express

She can be a little bit tricky Navarre Express as she does take a little bit of time to come to hand, but I’m really happy with how she’s doing currently, and I’m looking forward to getting her season started. She didn’t do a whole lot wrong last season apart from her final start, and I’m not sure whether she was just over the top, or the heavy ground at Nottingham was just too testing for her.

This sort of ground should be fine for her, and it’s a £30,000 handicap with only six runners, so it looks a good opportunity for her, and hopefully she can run a big race and we can build her season from here.


15:15 Newmarket – He’s A Gentleman

He’s A Gentleman ran a cracker at Chester last week, and it’s frustrating that he’s yet to win on turf as he really deserves to. I actually thought this would be a smaller field when I first declared him, but there are 11 declared, and it looks quite a competitive race on paper.

He did a piece of work a few weeks ago with Kitteridge here during the Craven meeting, and Michael Hills who rode him said he absolutely loved the Newmarket track, and if we could find a suitable race for him here, we should run him in it, so that’s exactly what we’re doing. I wouldn’t have predicted we’d be seeing He’s A Gentleman in a race live on ITV if you’d have asked me at the start of the season, but it’s great for the members of the Michael Owen Racing Club to have a big Saturday runner, and hopefully he can do them all proud.

Hugo Palmer, Coral Racing Ambassador
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