I'm very happy with him going into this – Hugo Palmer's Thursday preview
15:35 Newmarket – Soldier’s Gold
I must say I didn’t expect it to be such a big field because when I declared there were only six or seven runners in there. For all that he’s the most exposed in the field, he’s not a million miles off the principles on ratings, and I do think he can put his experience to good use here. There are a lot of horses coming in here off the back of winning a maiden, so while they bring great potential to the race, they’ve yet to prove they are up to this sort of level.
Soldier’s Gold ran a really good race at Doncaster last time and he’s been in really good form at home since, so I’m very happy with him going into this. I think the sharp downhill 7f at Newmarket will suit him.
Oisin Murphy rides him as he did at Doncaster, and they seemed to get on well that day, so I’m very hopeful he can run a really nice race once again.
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17:18 Newmarket – Victoria Falls
She’s been an absolute revelation of late Victoria Falls, and she comes here in pursuit of the hat-trick after two very good wins at Newmarket and Thirsk. Who’d have thought that after being beaten so many times off marks in the low 60’s that we’d be coming here looking for the hat-trick off 73, so it’s quite extraordinary how she’s turned things round. In July it looked for all money that the handicapper knew all about her, and she was a victim of her own consistency having constantly ran well in defeat, but now you could say she’s starting to look like a rather progressive filly.
I expect she’ll be near the head of the market in this race, and although she’s 1lb wrong in the handicap, we do claim a valuable 3lb for having Connor Planas on board, so I’m really looking forward to running her again.
I don’t think she’ll have any problems handling the undulations of the July course, so although she is up in grade, I expect her to go close again.
19:00 Southwell – Running Star
He was doing nicely in the summer, Running Star, so we were hoping we’d have had him on the track a bit earlier than this, but he just had a problem with his foot that kept him off for a few weeks, but thankfully he seems to be over that now. He goes nicely at home and shows a really good attitude in his work, so I’m really looking forward to getting started with him.
He’s been done no favours by the draw being out in stall 11, but we’ll do the best we can from there, and hopefully he’ll give us something to build on. We did actually have a winning debutant this week when Monkmoor Pip won at Lingfield on Tuesday, but you’d have to say that was a weaker race than this one.
David Simcock’s horse Sniper’s Eye is rated 82, so presumably he’ll be favourite and the one we all have to beat, but hopefully Running Star can make a nice start for us here.
20:30 Southwell – Eloped