Hugo Palmer
12 months ago - 10 minute read

Hugo Palmer – You Want To Be Having Runners In These Races, It’s What The Whole Game Is All About

Matchbook Ambassador Hugo Palmer has high hopes for Powerful Breeze at Newmarket tomorrow!

We’re very much looking forward to running Powerful Breeze in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket on Friday.

All our horses are important, all our winners are important, but the Fillies’ Mile is a Group 1 race, and the top level is where you want to be. You want to be having runners in these races. It’s what the whole game is all about.

Powerful Breeze is a filly whose talent came upon us quickly. She had only done one bit of work when the original entries for the Fillies’ Mils closed. She had done it nicely, but the entry fee was quite expensive, and I’m not in a position to be entering everything that I quite like in these top-level races.

Dr Ali has been very supportive though in paying the supplementary entry fee. It’s the next logical step for her. She won the May Hill Stakes last time, a Group 2 race, and when you have won a Group 2 race, the next logical thing to do is target a Group 1 race.

Our supplementary entry fee and Prince Khalid’s supplementary entry fee for Quadrilateral takes the total prize fund for the race up to £567,500, which makes it one of the richest two-year-old races in Europe. Fair play to Newmarket for putting up the prize money in the first place, for the Fillies’ Mile and for the Dewhurst on Saturday, and they have been rewarded with a couple of very exciting Group 1s.

The Fillies’ Mile is going to take a bit of winning, but our filly is not without a chance. There was less than three lengths between the first seven home in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, and the first four home in the Rockfel Stakes, which is the same formline, finished within a length of each other. There may not be much between a lot of those fillies.

The obvious one we have to beat is Love, the Group 1-winning daughter of Galileo who is trained by Aidan O’Brien and will be ridden by Ryan Moore. If she wins, people will say how surprising it was that she was only third favourite, behind a conditions race winner in Quadrilateral and a Group 3 winner in Cayenne Pepper.

Those two fillies are, like us, unbeaten, but not all of us are going to be unbeaten on Friday evening. Something is going to have to give.

I couldn’t be happier with my filly though. She has ticked every box since Doncaster. We haven’t done a vast amount with her, her major bit of work was on the Rowley Mile, and she did that nicely. James was very happy with her there.

Powerful Breeze is very much in with a chance at Newmarket on Saturday.

Yasmine Bouyi, who rides her at home, has been riding her all year, and she has done a wonderful job with her. She says that the filly gives her an even better feel when she can get her toe in a little than she does on top of the ground. So I have no worries about her handling soft ground, and it would be lovely to think that she might improve for it.

We’re drawn nine of nine, in the middle of the track, but we’re next to Love in eight, who is, as I said, the one that I think we all have to beat.

James and I will have a chat through the race, where the pace is likely to come from and so on but, in the end, it’s up to James. He has to ride the race as he finds it.

Looking at the weather forecast, there may be a tailwind. There was a strong headwind at Doncaster, and she made a very good mid-race move there, but it appears that she is fairly versatile tactics-wise. It’s just a case then of whether or not she’s good enough.

I’m fairly confident that we can tick every box. She stays the trip well, she should be fine on the ground, she handles the track, and she’s in very good form at the moment. She still has her summer coat. There are no question marks on any of that. The big question though is, is she good enough?

We run Power Of States in the one-and-a-half-mile handicap. He has disappointed me all year. We’ve always felt that he was a nice horse, but he’s still getting beaten off marks in the 70s.

He was a bit better last time at Chelmsford when he was beaten by a short head off a mark of 76 over 10 furlongs, which we think is inadequate. He was still beaten, but he was only just beaten, and it was a step up on his previous run. Blinkers and a tongue-tie may have helped him there.

We were going to take him to Newcastle, but this is a £120,000 race, so we thought that we might as well have a swing at it. The step up to a mile and a half should suit him, and he’s a big strong horse who will have a light weight. He’s in good nick, he’ll like the ground, and a mile and a half is a good trip for him. We’ve always thought that there could be a decent day in him, and I hope that he can put up a good performance.

Paths Of Glory goes to Newcastle for a mile and a half handicap. He looked good at Chepstow, I thought that he won well, and his work has been good since. He has taken a while to find his stride, and he has gone up 6lb in the handicap, but he was strong in the finish at Chepstow and I hope that he can run a good race.

Powertrain definitely goes for the seven-furlong nursery at Newmarket on Saturday. He has been in good nick too, he has improved all year and he’ll like the give in the ground.

He was tough the last day in a nursery at Chester. He had plenty of opportunities to get beaten but he stuck his neck out and ran all the way to the line. He had to be brave.

He was raised by 6lb, but I think that there might still be some wiggle room in his handicap rating as long as he gets a clear run. One of the big dangers is Roger Varian’s horse Ascension, who is the first winner out of the Dansili mare Making Eyes, and Making Eyes was actually the first horse I ever bought! She was my first stakes winner, she won a listed race at Vichy in 2012 and she won a listed fillies’ race at Newcastle the following year.

We took Emissary out of the novice stakes at Newmarket last Saturday because of the ground, and he could make his racecourse debut at Wolverhampton on Saturday evening. He is a very well bred colt, by Kingman and a half-brother to the Derby winner Workforce, out of a sister to St Leger winner Brian Boru, so I am looking forward to getting him started.