Hugo Palmer - Two For The Future This Weekend

13 min

Matchbook Ambassador Hugo Palmer reflects on Paths Of Glory’s win at Chepstow while looking to the future this weekend with a couple to watch.

We’re still very far away from the Fillies’ Mile. The race is not until 11th October, that’s three weeks away, and we don’t have to make a decision on whether or not to supplement our May Hill winner Powerful Breeze for two weeks.

We are still hoping to supplement her. She looks a million dollars, she’s covered in dapples from head to toe and, when they thrive, fillies can really come forward at this time of year. I remember that Covert Love looked a picture all the way through September in the lead up to the Prix de l’Opera in 2015. She is our last Group 1-winning filly, so it would be great if Powerful Breeze could emulate her.

She will need to be very well, she will need to be 100%. At the moment she’s giving me no worries, she’s fresh and well and moving like a dream. If we had to make a decision today, if the race was in the morning, she would run. That is Plan A, providing the owner is keen to go for it. Dr Ali has never had a Group 1 winner. Unforgetable Filly ran well in Guineas having run well in the Nell Gwyn, and she went on to win the German Guineas, a Group 2 race, so it would be great to have a Group 1 winner for him.

Powerful Breeze ridden by James Doyle wins the William Hill May Hill Stakes during day two of the William Hill St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse.

Hamish Macbeth ran very well to finish third in the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday. He ran on well, he was only beaten a head and a neck. The slight ease in the ground probably just counted against him.

If they had had another dry day, like they had on Saturday, then he might have done better. My quest to win the race goes on, but it’s still not a bad day, when you can pick up a cheque for over €27,000 for finishing third.

I was really pleased with Powertrain’s win in his nursery at Chester last Friday. He won handily enough, and I was very happy with the attitude that he showed. Like all these two-year-olds, he’s learning on the job. He got checked inside the final furlong, so to get through and to get up and win like he did, he had to be brave.

He was probably value for a little more than the neck winning margin. He got 6lb, he is up to a mark of 87 now, which I suppose was fair. I hope we’ll find another opportunity for him now. He likes give in the ground, so he won’t mind if we get more rain now.

Paths Of Glory won nicely at Chepstow on Tuesday. I was very disappointed with how he ran in the Lanark Silver Bell at Hamilton on his previous run, it was just too bad to be true on the heavy ground. Back on ground that was just on the slow side of good on Tuesday, he won with plenty in hand.

He’s a progressive horse, he is a nice looking horse, and he is nicely bred. He came from the Wildenstein dispersal at the Orby sale in 2016. He’s bred to be decent, his dam is a Group 2 winner, and he’s half way on his way to being decent. He’s in the horses-in-training sale at Newmarket next month, so hopefully he will do well there.

Mina Vagante has deserved to win, she tries hard, so it was good that she was able to get her head in front in a fillies’ handicap at Sandown on Wednesday. She’s a young horse, she’s learning her way, and she got a lovely ride from Cieren Fallon.

I’d like to think that she’ll win again, and I think that she might stay a bit further than 10 furlongs.

We have three runners on Saturday, at three different meetings. Imrahor is set to make his racecourse debut in a novice stakes at Newbury.

He’s a nice horse, he’s just a baby, and he has been through the wars a little bit. I flew to Ireland for a weekend back in February, as soon as I landed in Dublin and turned my phone on, I got about six messages from home, all of them saying that they needed to speak with me.

Basically, Imrahor had got stuck on the horse walker and had fractured bones in his withers. It’s only the good ones who tend to do things like that. He’s back going well now though thankfully, and he’s ready to run.

He’s out of a really well-bred mare who we had but who didn’t race for us. She was an expensive mare, she cost €800,000 as a foal, she’s a very well bred mare, by Sea The Stars and a half-sister to Scintillula and Cuis Ghaire. She was big as a young horse, it took time for her to grow into herself.

This fellow is her first foal, and he’s very natural at home, like a lot of the Kingmans. He hasn’t been pushed hard, like all of ours. They tend not to come off the bridle at home unless they’re no good! So it will be down to what he finds off the bridle. He has done everything nicely and smoothly at home. This might be his only run this season and, if he wins, it will definitely be his only run this season. He is very much a horse for next year.

Golden Pass goes in the one-mile novice stakes at Newmarket. She is also very much next year’s horse. She has been doing everything nicely at home, and she is ready to do what she is bred to do.

Golden Horn’s progeny are only starting to find their feet now, which was to be expected. This is a nice filly, she is a big rangy filly who will stay a mile and a half next year. She looks good and she will look even better next year. This looks like a strong novice stakes, but she is a filly we have liked. I like to run a horse at Newmarket for the first time, I think that it is a nice introduction for them.

Power Of States runs in the 10-furlong handicap at Chelmsford. He is rivalling Blonde Warrior for me as my most disappointing three-year-old. He has always done considerably better at home than he has done on the track.

So we’re going back to Chelmsford, where he won on debut last October. Hopefully, that will help him. We’re also putting a tongue-tie and blinkers on him. I just wonder if a tongue-tie might help a little.

I hope that we can find the answer because he should be well capable on a mark of 76. If someone had said to me after he won his maiden that he’d be rated 106, I would have said yeah that sounds about right.

We have our open day on Sunday. It’s the Newmarket open weekend. It’s a really good day for racing fans to see jockeys and trainers and, most importantly, the horses, the stars of the show.

We’ll be parading some of our best horses, and it should be a lot of fun. There is a trainers’ hacks race up Warren Hill, on which I will be commentating! And our team for the mounted games is sponsored by Matchbook. So if people are free on Sunday and looking for a fun day out, they are more than welcome to come along.