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Hugo Palmer Saturday Preview: This looks like the race of the season so far

29 Jul 2023
Coral Racing Ambassador, Hugo Palmer, gives an exclusive preview of his two runners today, as well as his thoughts ahead of the King George at Ascot.

13:15  Ascot  He’s Got Game

He’s Got Game is a lovely horse and he’s been working with some nice horses at home, but we’ve been very happy with his work. The testing ground is a bit of an unknown for him, so we’ll just have to see about that, but I’m looking forward to getting him started. Ours don’t often win first time out, but I’m hoping he can go with plenty of encouragement.

The horse I fear most is Charlie Hills’ horse Kodiac Thriller, but that’s mainly because I bred him! I don’t like to finish second, but if we have to finish second tomorrow, then I hope he’s the one that beats us.

14:50 Newmarket – Order Of Malta

He took a decent step forward to win at Nottingham last time despite a less than ideal start, and that seems to have done his confidence the world of good as he seems a much happier horse at home now with that win under his belt.

Callum Shepherd seems to get on well with him so it’s great we have him on board once again, and while he’ll need to step forward again for his handicap debut, I’m extremely hopeful that he’ll do just that.

15:40 Ascot  – King George VI Stakes

The Coral-Eclipse was a great race despite the small field, but you’d have to say this looks like the race of the season so far. There aren’t enough good horses around for every race to be this competitive sadly, but what a treat that we get to see all these wonderful horses take each other on.

My suspicion is that the three-year-olds aren’t that good, and I think they could well come up short in this. Although Paddington doesn’t run here, he’s one of the best of them, and he only just managed to beat Emily Upjohn in the Eclipse over a trip that probably didn’t see her to best effect.

Hukum looks like he’ll have his conditions, so it’s unlikely he’ll be far away, and I’d have enormous respect for Pyledriver too. I’d just be slightly worried whether the ground might be softer than ideal for him.

It’s such a fascinating race, and it’s really difficult to pick the winner, but if I had to choose one, I think I’d side with Emily Upjohn. I do like Pyledriver a lot, but I just have a feeling that this is Emily Upjohn’s race, and I think she’ll relish the step back up to a mile and a half.

Hugo Palmer, Coral Racing Ambassador
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