Hugo Palmer - I Think That Nine Furlongs Is The Perfect Trip For Fajjaj

9 min

Matchbook Ambassador Hugo Palmer gives the lowdown on his runners for this weekend!

We run Hot Touch in the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

She’s a filly I have always liked. We expected her to win on her debut at Thirsk in June, and she nearly did. She only went down by a neck, and she won well next time at Kempton in July. She hasn’t run since.

We have had difficulty with her feet, she has thin soles, but we think we’re on top of that now. We have just been waiting for some nice ground. The ground was lovely on Friday morning, there was a lovely dew and the ground was perfect. Any rain would help her, but good ground is fine and we are happy with her.

Mootasadir is off to Dundalk again this evening for the Group 3 Diamond Stakes, a race that he won last year.

I am happy with him, and I think that he is a worthy favourite for the race.

He has improved from his run at Kempton and he’s in good form.

This is probably his optimum trip. We tried to stretch him out further, we tried to make a Melbourne Cup horse out of him, but it didn’t work. You can’t make a horse something he isn’t. You just have to concentrate on making him the best possible version of what he is.

Mootasadir is hotly fancied to win at Dundalk on Friday night.

He may have been out-stayed a little over a mile and a half at Kempton last time. He didn’t do anything wrong, but he hit the front and he was just run down late on by Royal Line. His best runs have been when he won this race last year, and when he won the Matchbook Magnolia Stakes at Kempton in March this year over 10 furlongs.

He is drawn in stall eight of eight, which is not great, but he still has lots in his favour. I am happy with him, and he is in very good hands with Colin Keane.

We run Fajjaj in the Cambridgeshire on Saturday.

I think that nine furlongs is the perfect trip for him.

He has won over seven furlongs and over 10 furlongs, and one of his best performances was when he finished second in the German Guineas last year. This could be his ideal trip.

He hasn’t run for a long time since he made his seasonal debut in the Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket in April, but he seems in good form. We just have the 33 rivals to beat, and he is a big price, but I am happy with him. He is well-bred, his dam is a half-sister to Kingman, and he is lightly-raced, and rain wouldn’t harm his chance either. Good ground would be perfect.

Hugo has high hopes for Fajjaj in the Cambridgeshire.

We run El Ghazwani in a 10-furlong handicap at Chelmsford on Saturday evening. He had a break after disappointing when we tried to get him stay a mile and a half at Yarmouth last time.

He found the ground too fast that day, Jim Crowley said that he just wasn’t letting himself down, but he still didn’t run badly. He was last of five, but he wasn’t beaten all that far.

So we are dropping him back down to 10 furlongs here and returning to the all-weather, which we know he handles well. A return to his spring form would see him come into it.

Hot Team goes in a one-mile handicap at Epsom on Sunday. He likes soft ground, and he’s not a big horse, he’s a well-balanced horse, so he should handle Epsom well.

You never know with Epsom, some horses handle it and some horses don’t, but he has a low centre of gravity, and the track shouldn’t be against him.

He ran much better at Haydock last time than he had been running, and I’m not quite sure that he stayed the 10 furlongs then. A mile should suit him better and, you never know, next year, if he stays in training and goes the right way, the Cambridgeshire could be a potential target.

I was delighted with Imrahor at Newbury on Saturday. He travelled well and he stayed on well to finish second behind Cherokee Trail, and he pulled nicely clear of the third horse. He had been showing up nicely at home, as I mentioned last week, and we expected him to run well. He has come a long away in a short space of time, and he is a horse to look forward to for next season.

Power Of States was a bit unlucky not to win at Chelmsford. He was just beaten in a photo finish. He is still not doing on the track what he is doing at home, he was still beaten off a mark of 76, but at least it was a step back in the right direction.

Finally, I’m very happy with Powerful Breeze’s progress. She worked on the Rowley Mile on Friday morning with James Doyle, and she worked very nicely. Newmarket were very accommodating, we just wanted to see if she would handle the Dip, and James said that she went through it as if it wasn’t there.

The hope is still that we will supplement her for the Fillies’ Mile, and she remains on track. For now, she’s just a Group 2 winner. We will find out then whether or not she is a Group 1 filly.