Matchbook Ambassador Hugo Palmer reflects on the week that just was, while also casting his eye at the weekend ahead where he has a couple of lively contenders.
We have been hitting the crossbar a lot this week, so it was nice that Hot Touch won nicely at Kempton on Wednesday evening.
We expected her to run well, she had run well at Thirsk on her racecourse debut, and we expected that she would come forward from that. It’s just when your horses are running well but not winning, you are anxious that they will go and win then.
She did everything right in the race. They went fast up front and she sat nicely off them. When she got into the clear, she picked up well, and she finished off her race well.
That was just her second run, so hopefully, she can improve again. She might need a little bit of cut in the ground to produce her best, and we don’t want to over-race her. There are a couple of listed races at the back end of the season, and they could be interesting races for her. She wouldn’t have to improve a lot to give herself a chance of getting some black type.
It was good to get a win on the board for Dr Ali too. He has had more than his fair share of horses who have gone close without winning recently. Power Of States, Beauty Of Deira and Deira Surprise (twice) had all gone close. So it was nice to have a winner for him.
It was frustrating that Deira Surprise didn’t win at Beverley last Saturday. She ran well though to finish second, and it turned out that she was probably in season.
Gold Fleece could have won at Wolverhampton on Tuesday. She just failed by a head to catch the winner Gold Arch. We won’t get the chance to go one better with her though because she was sold out of the yard at the horses-in-training sale on Wednesday night. She made 48,000 guineas which, for a filly who hasn’t won in seven attempts, and who cost 26,500 guineas as a yearling, was a fair price.
It’s good that our horses are running well again now though. We have had a quiet period, and we are playing catch-up, especially with the youngsters, but we are getting there.
We have a couple of chances over the weekend.
Assembled runs in a seven-furlong handicap at Ascot on Saturday. I wasn’t entirely convinced by him over a mile at Windsor last time. He won all right, but it looked like he was going to win well, and I think you can say that his least impressive furlong was his last furlong.
He is interesting now dropping back down to seven furlongs. I think that the trip suits him. I like the look of the race too, he is the only three-year-old in the race, taking on the older horses. They are obviously older and wiser than he is, but he is more unexposed.
I have booked Kerrin McEvoy for the ride. There is only a select group of jockeys worldwide who can pack their bags and cross the planet, and he and James McDonald and Hugh Bowman are the three jockeys in Australia who can claim to be able to do that.
He is a world-class jockey, and it’s great that we are able to book him for a horse in a 0-85 handicap.
We have declared Power Of States for the 12-furlong handicap at Newmarket, but he’s going to need some rain. If it doesn’t come, he won’t run.
He ran well at Nottingham last time over 10 furlongs, and he is sure to improve for step up in trip. I hope I can run him, because he’s in good order, I’m looking forward to running him over a mile and a half, and we’ve booked top Irish jockey Chris Hayes to ride him.
Zingaro Boy goes in the seven-furlong novice stakes at Salisbury on Saturday evening. I was pleased with his first run, over six furlongs at Kempton last month, he will love the fast ground, and the step up to seven furlongs is a positive.
We have to beat Ralph Beckett’s horse, Grand Ambassador, who finished ahead of us at Kempton, we have to step up to beat him, but I am pleased with how he has come forward out of that race, so we should go there with a chance, and Sebastian Woods will be taking off 5lb.
We are taking Heavenly Holly to Ireland on Sunday for the Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse. She is in good form, seven furlongs is a good distance for her, and it’s a Group 3 race, so we thought that we would let her take her chance.