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Hugo Palmer Haydock & Sandown Preview: We go there with a big chance

08 Jul 2023
Coral Racing Ambassador, Hugo Palmer, provides an exclusive preview of his runners at Sandown and Haydock today, as well as his opinion on the feature race of the day  the Coral-Eclipse. 

15:00 Sandown – Stenton Glider 

It’s lucky that I’m writing this at lunch time as 45 minutes ago she was second-favourite, and with Breege now a non-runner, she’s been propelled to the head of the market.

She had a little cut on her leg after her run in the German Guineas last time which meant we had to miss Royal Ascot, but she ran a mighty race over in Germany from a terrible draw on ground that was extremely quick. She also ran a cracker in the Fred Darling, and while people questioned the form at the time, the winner Remarquee has since come out and finished second in a Group 1 at the Royal meeting, so that form isn’t looking too bad at all.

She’s drawn out in stall 10 which is slightly wider than we’d like to be, but there’s a nice long back straight at Sandown, so I don’t think it will be as much as a negative as the wide draw was at Dusseldorf last time. We’ve been really happy with her work at home, and she’s really starting to develop physically. She’s a very tall filly and I do think she still has some growing to do, so I’ve always felt we wouldn’t see the best of her till we see her as a four-year-old.

It’s an open race with plenty of improving fillies in there, but you’d have to say we go there with a big chance. 

15:15 Haydock – Nolton Cross 

He ran well at Ayr last time when finishing third, and I’d say if we had our time again we might not have asked him for his effort so early. He got there, but he was there a while and he just didn’t quite last home which was disappointing.

He’s drawn in stall 17, so I think Neil Callan [jockey] will have little choice but to be a bit more patient with him. I think there’ll be plenty of pace on up front, and hopefully the race will pan out exactly as we want it to. 

15:50 Haydock – Tierney 

She ran really well in the Lily Agnes on her debut, and she didn’t run all that bad in Listed company the next time.

She was disappointing back in a maiden at Nottingham last time, but I’ll be asking Harry Davies [jockey] to slot her in and ride her a bit more like Oisin [Murphy] rode her at Chester on her debut. She starts life in nurseries off an opening mark of 70, and hopefully she can resume some of that progress she showed on her first few starts. 

Coral-Eclipse Thoughts  

I know it’s a disappointing turnout in terms of numbers, but some of the best Coral-Eclipses I can remember have been small fields, and I think this actually makes it more interesting than it being filled with a load of Listed horses trying to cloud the issue. It’s a fascinating match between Emily Upjohn and Paddington, and it’s great when you see two top-class horses take each other on like this.

I’ve always sided with the three-year-olds in this, and particularly with a horse like Paddington who looks to be improving rapidly. I don’t think many of us had heard of him before he won the Irish Guineas, but he’s just kept improving and it will be fascinating to see how he gets on against his elders.

It wouldn’t surprise me if they decided to make the running with Emily Upjohn. She has raced keenly in the past, and sometimes horses can just drop it when they are in front. Sandown is a good track for making the running, and they won’t want it to turn into a sprint, so if there’s no pace on then I think they might just go forward. Tactically it’s a tricky puzzle to solve, but I do think the market has it right, and if I had to choose one, I’d have to go with Aidan’s horse [Paddington].

Hugo Palmer, Coral Racing Ambassador
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