Hugo Palmer Saturday Preview: I do feel he's really improved
13:40 Redcar – Wonder Smile
Wonder Smile is a very nice horse who’s pleased us all with his work at home, and I’m looking forward to getting started with him this weekend. He’s drawn in stall 12 which is rather annoying, but hopefully we can get a bit of luck in running and Ben Curtis can get him into a good position.
His workmate Pitney finished second on Thursday at Lingfield on debut, and I was very happy with that considering it was his first run. Wonder Smile has been doing some nice pieces of work with that horse of late, so it would be great if he could run just as well here, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Kevin Ryan’s horse Midnite Storm is rated 80, so I suspect he might be the horse we have to beat, but our two-year-olds have been running well lately, so I’m sure we’ll give it our best shot.
14:25 Ascot – L’Astronome
I was really happy with L’Astronome’s first start for us at Chester which is a track that will have been sharp enough for him. I do feel he’s really improved since arriving with us, and I think he’ll step forward again from that run, but we would like to see him over a longer trip when the right opportunity comes along as I do see him as a Melbourne Cup or Sydney Cup horse going forward.
This looks a very good edition of the Cumberland Lodge Stakes, and he does have a fair bit to find here, but he did run better than his mark on his first start for us, and I think he’s improved at home since, so its not out of the question that he could run a big race.
I think he’s versatile with regards to the ground, so I don’t think conditions at Ascot will be an inconvenience to him, and although he’ll need to put up a career-best performance, I’m looking forward to seeing how he gets on.
14:45 Redcar – Balon D’or
We were hoping to run Golden Trick in this race, but he does need soft ground, so with the decent ground forecast, we thought we’d let Balon D’or take his chance instead.
He is possibly a little more exposed than some of his rivals, but he wasn’t beaten that far last time at Doncaster when just not quite getting home on soft ground over the extended 6f. I do think Balon D’or is a fast ground horse, and this is the first time he’ll have gone 6f on quick ground since he was second in the Woodcote at Epsom, so I’m hoping we’ll see a better showing from him here.
17:00 Newmarket – OG Beachwear
Although she won on soft ground last time, I think she won in spite of the ground rather than because of it, so we head here to Newmarket as it looks pretty dry there at the moment. Della, the horse she beat at Catterick, had been off the track a long time, but I saw she won well at Wolverhampton the other day, so maybe we can mark that performance up a little bit.
I’m not sure if her mark of 75 is lenient or not, but I guess we’ll find out this weekend. Connor Planas takes off a valuable 3lb, so she’ll be in receipt of weight from the rest of the runners, and hopefully she can run another good race.
18:00 Wolverhampton – Terratino Fire
I think Terratino Fire should be better on the all-weather, so I’m looking forward to running him at Wolverhampton to see if it prompts any improvement from him. I suspect he’ll be better in handicaps, and this doesn’t look that bad a race for the grade, but we’ll be there giving it our best, and hopefully we’ll have a handicap mark for him after this.
He got a bit worked up at Chester last time, so I’m not sure how quiet Wolverhampton will be on a Saturday night, but hopefully its not too rowdy and Terratino Fire will be a bit more settled before the race and put up a bold showing.
19:00 Wolverhampton – How Impressive
His work rider tells me he feels the best he’s ever felt, so he’s been in really good form at home since his win at Yarmouth last time. He’d been running well, so he thoroughly deserved his win last time, and he’s only been raised 2lb for that, so I see no reason why he won’t go well once again. He’s won on the all-weather before, so I don’t think switching back from turf will be a problem to him either.
He’s actually 1lb lower if you take Taylor Fisher’s claim into account, and he’s got a good draw in stall three, so everything is pointing towards another big run.
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Hugo Palmer, Coral Racing Ambassador