Coral Racing Ambassador, Hugo Palmer, gives a preview of his one runner on the first day of the Ebor Meeting at York and looks ahead to Tuesday's feature race, the Juddmonte International Stakes.
16:10 Stayers Handicap – Solent Gateway
It’s all a bit surprising that a £100,000 handicap hasn’t filled, and that Solent Gateway has ended up top weight which I didn’t anticipate happening. I suppose there is a bit of a shortage of these staying horses with many of them being sold to Australia, but it does mean we have to carry our fair share of weight.
We’ve got lucky with the draw for once in stall one, so that’s certainly a positive, and Hollie Doyle got on well with him when winning at Haydock in May, so it’s great to have her back on board. He does seem to save his best for when he has a female rider on board as he’s won for Hayley Turner, Hollie Doyle and Jane Elliot whereas I think Ross Coakley is the only male jockey to have won on him.
He seems in very good form at home, and I think the key to this horse is getting into a good rhythm, so hopefully they go at a nice even tempo for him. He can make the running, but he doesn’t have to, so hopefully the race will develop perfectly and Hollie can deliver him at the right time. I’m hopeful he can run well, but I do think carrying top weight in a handicap as competitive as this will require a career best.
15:35 Juddmonte International Preview
It is once again a disappointing turn out in terms of numbers for such a prestigious race, but we’ve talked about this before with regards to the Coral-Eclipse, and I suppose there are just a shortage of these real top-class horses.
There are just so many options, and if we didn’t have so many races for horses rated around 115 to run in, then they’d have to run here in the Juddmonte International, and we might have 12 runners as opposed to four, but this is the world we live in. I can see why connections of those horses don’t want to run as why would you bring your horse to run in a race that you know on all known form you’re probably going to get beaten.
I remember Aidan O’Brien running a load of pacemakers against Frankel in this back in 2012 to try and get him beaten, and I suspect if Paddington was trained by anybody else, then that’s what he’d be doing here, but nobody else seems to think that way nowadays.
Paddington has been the outstanding three-year-old this year, and having stayed the Coral-Eclipse trip very well, I’d expect him to take all the beating here. Mostahdaf and Nashwa are very good horses on their day, but I think we’d all be surprised if either of them was able to beat Aidan’s horse, and you’d have to say The Foxes has plenty to find on the figures, so everything seems to be pointing towards PADDINGTON.
Hugo Palmer, Coral Racing Ambassador
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