Hugo Palmer - Two runners this weekend at Chelmsford and Newmarket

13 min

Hugo Palmer gives his review of the week and looks ahead to Chelmsford & Newmarket this weekend

We have a quiet enough weekend this weekend, but I am hoping that Encrypted will run well in the Class 2 optional claiming handicap at Chelmsford.

We are taking 5lb off him though with Darragh Keenan. Darragh’s agent Phil Shea is married to my assistant, and he rides nicely, so I am happy to give him a chance. Also, Encrypted is not a giant of a horse and he has a lot of weight, so it makes sense to claim off him.

He’s in good shape though. We know that he goes well on all-weather, he has won four of his seven races on all-weather, and we know that he goes well at Chelmsford. He has won both his races at the track.

He has come forward again from his Newcastle run. That was over a month ago now, we took him out of York two weeks ago because the ground was just too soft for him.

We are drawn a bit wider than ideal, but our main danger, Muthmir, is drawn even wider. He is similar to us in that he is a talented horse who is seeking to get back on track this year. But I’m very happy with our horse. He has taken a while, but I think he’ll keep coming. He may end up at Golden Rose at Lingfield again in November, the race we won last year, but I hope that he will run well on Saturday too.

Encrypted to run well at Chelmsford Saturday

Incinerator goes in the nursery at Newmarket on Saturday. He is stepping into handicap company for the first time, but it’s a small field, so it should be good for him. The ground should be quick enough for him too. I think that it’s a race in which he can be competitive.

My main worry is that there will be no pace, and that he may end up making his own running, which wouldn’t be ideal, running into a headwind. That said, there are only five runners, so there may not be many places to hide anyway.

I think that the step up to seven furlongs should suit him. He’s out of a Raven’s Pass mare that I trained, Bella Nostalgia, who stayed well and who won over seven furlongs for us.

He didn’t like Catterick last time, he didn’t handle the track and he didn’t handle the ground, so I thought that he did very well to win. He had to organise his feet and then knuckle down, which he did well. He just got up in the end.

He has been given a mark of 76 for this, his handicap debut, and I don’t think that that’s unduly harsh. I think that he can do better than he did at Catterick, back on better ground, and on a different track. Fingers crossed.

I was very happy that Angel Of Delight won at Newmarket on Saturday. She is a filly that I have always liked.

She disappointed me on her debut at Lingfield in June, she was very green, she got in behind the kickback at Lingfield and she didn’t produce what we expected. She looked light and weak afterwards, like she needed more time, so we gave her time.

I was a little surprised that she was ready to win, and I think that the fact that she won well may cast a small doubt over the value of the form, but we’ll see. She was off the bridle from half way, and I was thinking that this may not go very well at all, but she kept finding. She kept on very well.

That was just her second run, so I suspect that she’ll run in a third novice under a penalty, and then maybe run in nurseries. She’s still quite inexperienced. She’s a nicely bred filly, she’s by Dark Angel out of a Pastoral Pursuits mare, Ventura Mist, who won three races as a two-year-old, including the Listed Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy. We might think about maybe going to Germany for a little back type race. I don’t think that we have seen the best of her yet, and I can see her stepping up to a mile next year.

Hariboux was good too in winning at Brighton. It was very disappointing that he was beaten so far at Yarmouth on his previous run. I felt that the overwatered ground and the headwind counted against him that day. So we went to Brighton in order to avoid those elements, and I was delighted that he repaid us with his performance.

He will get a mile too, he is by a miler in Havana Gold and he is out of a Sir Percy mare. He may not be a champion, but he is a champion in the eyes of the syndicate who own him. He cost 11,000 guineas at Tattersalls October Book 3 sale last year, and there is a gang of them who own 5% or 10% of him each. It just shows you what can happen.

He had Sky Vega back in third, he cost €600,000, he is a brother to Belardo, who won the Dewhurst and the Lockinge Stakes. And he was over a length behind Hariboux in third.

It’s important to remember that this is a lot of the time what racing is all about. It’s a game that’s meant to be fun. It’s great to be able to see the pleasure that an inexpensive horse can give to a group of owners. If every horse had to cost 100,000, and if there were not syndicates, then these guys would not have a horse, and they wouldn’t be getting the kick that they are getting out of this fellow.

Ironclad could only finish fourth in the Matchbook Betting Podcast Handicap at Kempton on Monday. He travelled well, but they didn’t go quickly and when the others quickened up, he just didn’t.

James said afterwards

He felt that he was getting there until the last 10 strides

He thought that he just didn’t fully stay. It might have looked like he would stay 12 furlongs at Newmarket, but he’s by Dubawi, who didn’t stay a mile and a half, so maybe 10 furlongs will be his distance.

He’s run a solid genuine race, and he ate up afterwards and everything, but you could tell that he had had a race. We have run him four times now since early June, so we might give him a short rest now. He is a big horse who will be much better served by a return to a galloping track. Easy ground in the autumn could suit him well now, and 10 furlongs. He needs to be better than an 86 horse to race in Prince Khalid’s colours next year, so his next few runs will be important.

I was very disappointed with Power Of States’ run at Thirsk on Saturday. I was sure he would run well, and I can’t work out why he didn’t. He came back a bit sore, so we need to re-group

Collette ran nicely at Yarmouth on Wednesday. She is quite a light framed filly. If she was a bit more robust, she would have done more at home, but a race can sometimes teach a horse as much as five or six gallops. She was keen and she jumped the road crossing, and she got a fraction tired, but it was still a good run to finish third, against colts, beaten a length. She should improve for that experience.