Hugo Palmer

    Progressive youngsters such as Never Back Down and Fajjaj make Hugo Palmer's Kremlin Cottage stable a force to be reckoned with, and he shares his thoughts about his talented string with At The Races readers
  • Wednesday 28 March 2018
  • Stable Tours

HUGO PALMER hit the goal posts in last weekend’s Spring Mile when Humbert failed by only a neck at the opening fixture of the turf Flat season at Doncaster and his strike force are primed for action at Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday.

The admirable Gifted Master looks to improve his record in the Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships Conditions race and he could be joined by Never Back Down, who is entered in the 32 Red 3-Year-Old All-Weather Championships Conditions race, and Star Archer, who still hold the entry in the Betway Easter Classic.

Palmer has proved himself one of the country’s leading young trainers since first taking out a licence and 2016 provided him with a first domestic Classic when Galileo Gold won the Qipco 2000 Guineas – a result which was supplemented with the victory of Hawksmoor in the German 1000 Guineas.

Palmer was able to secure another German Guineas last year with Unforgetable Filly and he has several under his care that could well reach Classic potential this time around.

With 77 winners on the domestic front in 2017 and £1,066,185 in prize money it was a numerical personal best once more and something the highly ambitious trainer at Kremlin Cottage Stables in Newmarket will be looking to better once again.

Hugo kindly spoke to Tony Elves of ATR about his hopes for Good Friday and the months to come.

Older Horses

Architecture (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of one of her 11 starts and currently rated 105. Creditable efforts in first two starts last season – finishing fourth, beaten a length, to Desert Encounter in a Group 3 event at Newbury (1m 3f) in September and when finishing third, beaten nine and a quarter lengths, to Chain Of Daisies in a listed event at Newmarket (1m 2f) in October.

Trainer Says:

She picked up an injury in the Spring of last year and so had three quick runs at the backend running well in the first two and was then probably over the top the third time. It is very sporting of her owners to have kept her in training at five and having been placed in three Oaks she has proved herself that she is a filly of Group 1 potential. I think the important thing with her is to try and win a Stakes race, Listed race or Group 3 or something like that before hopefully raising our sights as the season goes on. She could start at Goodwood in the Daisy Warwick and she doesn’t want the ground too fast but she ran so well in the Oaks we can assume she will handle Goodwood as she handled Epsom. She is pretty mature now and hopefully improving all the time.

Video Form
16 Jul 2016:
7 May 2016:

Gifted Master (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of nine of his 20 starts and currently rated 112 on the AW and 109 on the turf. Winner of three of his seven starts last season and ended his campaign with a comfortable length and a half success from Mythmaker at Lingfield (6f) in November.

Trainer Says:

He has been a proper star right from the word go. I think he is every inch as good as he was at the age of five and possibly even a bit better. We are not going to play around and stretch him out this year – he has so much speed and he shows it even more so with the blinkers added. We will stick to Sprinting with him and he starts at Lingfield on Good Friday. He has an entry in Hong Kong but I don’t know if he will be invited and race like the Abernant and the Duke of York and later on the Hackwood and things like that might be up his street. He has so much speed we could thinking of dropping him back to five furlongs and it is something we may explore.

Video Form
21 May 2018:
30 Mar 2018:
18 Nov 2017:
5 Aug 2017:
25 Mar 2017:

Gulliver

Form Profile:

Winner of four of his 17 starts and currently rated 107. Finished third, beaten a length and a quarter, to Intisaab in a valuable event in Doha (6f) on latest start in February.

Trainer Says:

He has done very well on the AW this Winter and he ran very well in Qatar last time. Andrea Atzeni thought he was a little unlucky when finishing third. He will also run on Good Friday and we will take it from there with him. It would be nice to maybe find a listed race somewhere. He goes on all ground and he is still quirky but much less so now he has been gelded.

Video Form
30 Mar 2018:
3 Feb 2018:
26 Dec 2017:
25 Nov 2017:
2 Nov 2017:

Humbert (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of three of his 7 starts and currently rated 92. Completed a hat trick on the AW this Winter when beating Poetic Force half a length at Kempton (1m) in February off a mark of 86. Made a pleasing return in the Spring Mile at Doncaster (1m) on Saturday when runner-up, beaten a neck, to Highland Acclaim off a mark of 90.

Trainer Says:

He has done well on the AW and he went to Doncaster on Saturday for the Spring Mile and ran a blinder. He likes a bit of cut in the ground so we will be careful where we run him, I think there is a bit more to come from him.

Video Form
17 Aug 2018:
28 Jun 2018:
24 Mar 2018:
3 Mar 2018:
15 Jan 2018:

Hyperfocus (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of four of his 11 starts and currently rated 98. Last won at Haydock (6f) when beating Letmestopyouthere two and a quarter lengths off a mark of 90.

Trainer Says:

Hyperfocus I think is an interesting four-year-old. He likes a bit of cut in the ground and he may well start on Good Friday at Bath if things go well for him weatherwise. It is a conditions race and we will just have to see what he is entered against and we wouldn’t want to go an blow his mark if there is a proper Group horse in the race. That is the race for him on the turf and he is ready. Long term the Stewards’ Cup or something could be the right race for him.

Video Form
24 Aug 2018:
30 Jun 2018:
30 Mar 2018:
27 Oct 2017:
23 Jun 2016:

Mazyoun

Form Profile:

Winner of three of his 17 starts and currently rated 93. Gained his last success in a handicap at Yarmouth (1m) in September when beating Hugin a nose off a mark of 90.

Trainer Says:

He’s enormous now and I think better for it. He goes on any ground and he would need to win and get in on a penalty to get in the Hunt Cup but that’s what I think we might try and do.

Video Form
21 Sep 2017:
25 Oct 2016:
8 Sep 2016:

Star Archer

Form Profile:

Winner of three of his 7 starts and currently rated 96. Winner of his first two starts this year at Wolverhampton (1m 1 1/2f) in January and February on the second occasion beating Mount Tahan a length and a half. Finished third, beaten a length and a half, to Kyllachy Gala when odds on at Kempton (1m 2f) in March off his current mark.

Trainer Says:

Having missed virtually all of his three-year-old career he has done very well on the AW. I doubt he will get in to the Easter Classic on Good Friday he probably needed to win his last race to do that and he didn’t. Again, I think he will be better on turf and he might start in the Spring Cup at the Greenham meeting. I wouldn’t run him on ground too fast and I think a galloping track will suit him with a strong pace to run at.

Video Form
30 Mar 2018:
12 Feb 2018:
15 Jan 2018:
7 Aug 2016:

To Be Wild (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 5 starts and currently rated 107. Finished fourth, beaten four and a half lengths, to Hawkbill in a Group 3 contest at Newbury (1m 4f) last May.

Trainer Says:

He is a very lightly raced horse and he probably won’t be seen until mid-Summer onwards as he picked up an injury last June and the more time we can give him the better. He is gelded now and rated 107 after only five starts – I think he is a horse of huge potential and he is a little on the fragile side but I would like to think he is a nice staying horse going forward this year and next year and beyond.

Video Form
14 Apr 2017:
22 Oct 2016:
28 Jul 2016:

Unforgetable Filly

Form Profile:

Winner of three of her 10 starts and currently rated 104. Gained her last success in the German 1000 Guineas at Dusseldorf (1m) last June when accounting for Peace In Motion by a length and three quarters.

Trainer Says:

She did very well in the first half of last season and it was one of those cruel ironies that whilst my horses were sick she was winning the Guineas in Germany and soon as my horses came healthy again she got sick. She appeared to be right when we came back but it left it’s toll on her and the ground didn’t come right for her. She has done really well over the Winter and grown a bit again. I think we will aim her for the Chartwell Fillies at Lingfield and then, hopefully, the Duke of Cambridgeshire at Royal Ascot.

Video Form
14 Oct 2017:
15 Sep 2017:
10 Sep 2016:

Three Year Olds

Arbalet (IRE)

  • 3-y-o; grey colt
  • Breeding: Dark Angel - Miss Beatrix (Danehill Dancer)
  • Trained by: Hugo Palmer
  • Last Race: York, 25 Aug 2018 15:00
  • Result: 3/9, went to post early, raced keenly, tracked leader, led over 2f out, ridden and headed over 1f out, lost 2nd entering final furlong, kept on same pace inside final furlong, held on for 3rd
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 5 starts and currently rated 101. Easy winner of a novice event at Redcar (7f) in July and creditable effort next time when third, beaten three and a quarter lengths, to Masar in the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown (7f) in September.

Trainer Says:

He is the highest rated of my three-year-olds after finishing third in the Solario. He is rated 101 and it brings in the possibility of starting in the European Free Handicap. He was disappointing at Newmarket on is last run but the ground had gone against him and he was big and growing. At this stage I am a little bit confused about his trip as, although he is by Dark Angel and bred to sprint, he is a big rangy colt with a long stride and I don’t think a mile will be a problem to him and he could even get a bit further as the season goes on.

Video Form
6 Jul 2017:

Burford Brown

Form Profile:

Unplaced to Thrave on his only start at Newmarket (7f) in September.

Trainer Says:

He only had one start last year but is a nice sprinter in the making. He ran well for a long way at Newmarket and just got tired coming through the Dip. He has grown into himself and shown me the right signs and I have no idea where we will start at this stage but I like him.

Video Form
15 Sep 2018:
3 Sep 2018:
23 May 2018:

Corrosive (USA)

Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 2 starts. Off the mark with a length and three quarter success from Manthoor in a novice event at Kempton (7f) in September.

Trainer Says:

He is a colt I have always liked and he bolted up on his second start. He has turned inside out over the Winter and he could start in a novice or a Guineas trial. I just want to see how he is working in the next month/six weeks but he looks well above average.

Video Form
10 Sep 2018:
24 Apr 2018:

Curiosity (IRE)

  • 3-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: High Chaparral - Precautionary (Green Desert)
  • Trained by: Hugo Palmer
  • Last Race: Newmarket, 14 Jul 2018 15:20
  • Result: 2/9, raced keenly, held up mid-division, headway over 2f out, ridden into 2nd 1f out, kept on, no impression with winner
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 5 starts and currently rated 88. Gained his second success in a novice auction event at Ascot (7f) in July when beating Preacher Man half a length.

Trainer Says:

He won a couple of races last year and I wasn’t sure he would grow much but he has grown a lot and I think that was why his form tailed off at the end of the season. He will be ready to start early when we get some nice quick ground. There is a handicap for him at the Craven meeting.

Video Form
8 Sep 2017:
29 Jun 2017:

Delsheer (FR)

Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 3 starts and currently rated 79. Off the mark at the third attempt when short heading Celestin’s at Windsor (1m) in October.

Trainer Says:

I think he has done very well and he ran two nice races out of three in his first season. I am not sure he would be more than a handicapper but could develop into a nice sort over a mile as the season goes on a could get further.

Video Form
8 Sep 2018:
2 Jul 2018:
9 Oct 2017:

Dukhan

Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 3 starts. Off the mark at Chelmsford (1m) in October when beating Communique a length.

Trainer Says:

He is another who has done well over the Winter and he is another who could develop into a nice handicapper. He caught the eye first time out at Newmarket in July, then sustained an injury on his second start. He had no right to win when he did as we hadn’t done a lot with him but he was screaming out for a run. He has really improved over the Winter and I am pleased with his work at this stage. I am looking forward to him.

Video Form
26 Oct 2017:

Encrypted

Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 7 starts and currently rated 89. Gained his second success in a nursery at Chelmsford (5f) in September when beating Emilia James half a length off a mark of 84.

Trainer Says:

He always promised more last year than he delivered. He has been gelded over the Winter and has grown quite a lot too. I hope he can really get his act together this year.

Video Form
15 Sep 2018:
30 Aug 2018:
6 Aug 2018:
24 Oct 2017:
21 Sep 2017:

Fajjaj (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 2 starts. Made a winning debut at Ascot (7f) in September when beating Court Of Justice half a length and solid effort when fourth, beaten four lengths, to Elarqam in the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket (7f) later that month.

Trainer Says:

He is a lovely big Dawn Approach colt who won really well on ground that was probably too soft for him at Ascot first time out and then he was a never nearer fourth in a Group 3 at Newmarket to Elarqam. He was a bit slowly away and I wanted him to be a bit more prominent in the run as seven furlongs would be a minimum for him and he wouldn’t want to be held up off a slow pace. He is much more of a galloper and I am looking forward to getting him going. It depends how he is working but he has the option of a novice and he would have to be properly catching pigeons to start off in the Greenham.

Video Form
23 Apr 2018:

Gododdin

Form Profile:

Unplaced in a novice at Chelmsford and a maiden at Newmarket (1m) in September.

Trainer Says:

We liked him a huge amount last year and he disappointed twice. He is another who has grown out of sight and I thought he would be a mile and ten furlong horse and can give us lots of fun.

Video Form
10 Sep 2018:
2 Sep 2017:

Labrega

Form Profile:

Finished sixth, beaten a length and three quarters, to George Villiers on her only start at Kempton (7f) in November.

Trainer Says:

She is Star Archer’s sister and she wasn’t beaten far after being carried wide up the straight at Kempton against colts. If you ran the race again I think she would have won and I like the way she goes. Like her brother, I would be surprised if she didn’t want a bit of cut in the ground.

Video Form
7 Jul 2018:

Left Alone

Form Profile:

Placed in three starts and currently rated 80. Came closest to victory when runner-up, beaten a nose, to Timpani on her final start at Newmarket (7f) in October.

Trainer Says:

She had three starts last year and probably should have won them all but is still a maiden. She has really strengthened up and she looks like a sprinter and should be. I think we are going to stick to sprinting with her and come back to six furlongs to start with.

Video Form
21 Sep 2017:

Momentarily

Form Profile:

Finished third, beaten six lengths, to Wild Ilusion on her only start at Yarmouth (1m) in August.

Trainer Says:

She ran a lovely race on her debut when finishing third at Yarmouth. She picked up a bit of a niggle that day so we didn’t run her again but she seems well over it now. The filly that won the race went on to win the Marcel Boussac and the form looks tidy enough.

Video Form
22 Aug 2017:

Mootasadir

  • 3 b f Cityscape – Firebelly
Form Profile:

Unraced

Trainer Says:

We hummed and harred about whether to run in the race that was won by John Gosden’s Without Parole at Newcastle in December. He won by a wide margin and I am pretty confident he wouldn’t have won by a margin if we had run. He was still on the weak side and I couldn’t be certain he was going to win so he didn’t run.

Morning Skye (IRE)

Form Profile:

Made a winning debut when beating Sportswriter a nose at Newcastle (1m 2f) this month.

Trainer Says:

He keeps doing better and better and it was no surprise he made a winning debut at Newcastle the other day. I think he will stay a mile and a half and I think he is potentially a nice horse. He could be a King George V Handicap horse come Royal Ascot time. The only thing is that he could be a horse that could need a bit of dig in the ground. If he does win his next start there is a mile and a half handicap at the Chester May meeting that I have won before which I might like to take him to.

Video Form
1 Sep 2018:
25 Jun 2018:
2 May 2018:
16 Apr 2018:
8 Mar 2018:

Mystic Meg

  • 3-y-o; bay filly
  • Breeding: Camelot - Hypnology (Gone West)
  • Trained by: Hugo Palmer
  • Last Race: Sandown, 19 Sep 2018 17:25
  • Result: Won/12, tracked leader 2f, handy 3rd on inside, going well when switched left 2f out, ridden to lead well over 1f out, stayed on
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Finished runner-up, beaten eight lengths, to Magic Lily on her only start at Newmarket (1m) in September.

Trainer Says:

She finished second on her debut at Newmarket and she has really developed over the Winter. I think all of these Camelot’s are going to be much better at three and she is very attrtacitve but a bit quirky and I think the Montjeu seems to run through all the fillies I have had. That quirk luckily comes with a bit of brilliance so its fingers crossed with her.

Video Form
16 Sep 2018:
3 Sep 2018:
20 Aug 2018:

Never Back Down (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of two of his 5 starts and currently rated 98. Returned to winning form on latest start at Wolverhampton (6f) in December when beating Music Society a length.

Trainer Says:

He was our first two-year-old winner last year then had an injury in the Summer but came back to win the Fast Track qualifier at Wolverhampton in December. He will go to the Final on Good Friday.

Video Form
30 Jun 2018:
30 Mar 2018:
9 Dec 2017:
28 Oct 2017:

Pulitzer

Form Profile:

Winner of one of her 5 starts and currently rated 88. Off the mark with a three quarter length victory from Forever In Love in a novice event at Haydock (6f) in September.

Trainer Says:

She won her maiden really well and then was just growing and she didn’t Winter all that well but is just starting to thrive now. Hopefully, she will be campaigned to get some black type and a bit of cut in the ground might help her. We will see where we get to with her but I have always liked her.

Rashdan (FR)

Form Profile:

Finished fourth, beaten nine lengths, to Alternative Fact on his only start at Salisbury (1m) in September.

Trainer Says:

He ran badly at Salisbury on his debut but we have seen much better from him and he has also been gelded. I think that might make all the difference. He is a half brother to a French Derby winner so he needed to run before he could be gelded. I think his attitude should improve now and he is the most gorgeous looking horse. I would be amazed if I was starting him below ten furlongs this year before stepping up in trip.

Video Form
17 Aug 2018:
28 Jul 2018:
30 Apr 2018:

Silver Quartz

  • 3-y-o; grey colt
  • Breeding: Frankel - Rosamixa (Linamix)
  • Trained by: Hugo Palmer
  • Last Race: Ascot, 7 Sep 2018 16:20
  • Result: Won/9, close up, switched right 2f out, headway and every chance over 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, ran on
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Finished runner-up, beaten a length, to Just Brilliant on his only start at Newmarket (1m) in October.

Trainer Says:

He ran a great race on his debut at Newmarket where things didn’t quite go his way. He is a colt I have always liked and he has done very well over the Winter. I know the horse that beat him is very highly regarded and we didn’t get the cover we wanted and they just crawled that day.

Video Form
7 May 2018:

Strange Society (IRE)

Form Profile:

Winner of one of his 2 starts. Off the mark at Newcastle (7f) in November when beating Ambient a neck.

Trainer Says:

He should be a fun handicapper and may even be a Britannia horse. He was backward all last year and only came good late on but was able to win. He has done well since his victory and we have given him a nice break.

Video Form
6 Jul 2018:
9 May 2018:
30 Nov 2017:
16 Nov 2017:

Sudona

Form Profile:

Unplaced in her only start at Newbury (1m) in October.

Trainer Says:

She is a lovely big rangy filly who I think will stay a mile and a half. She was a little bit fresh and free on her debut and just weakened out of it on ground that might have been too soft for her. She didn’t run badly at all and I like everything I have seen so far. She is not quite galloping yet but she could be one to be starting in May and we will see how we go.

Video Form
5 Sep 2018:
10 Jul 2018:

Tenedos

Form Profile:

Scored by two lengths from Maaward on his only start at Kempton (1m) in October.

Trainer Says:

He bolted up on his debut at Kempton which was a surprise in so far as his work just previously hadn’t been that exciting but his earlier work had been exciting. He was just hiding it a bit from us and I would rather they showed it on the track than at home. He is a High Chaparral with a nice pedigree and he has been left in the Derby and we would start off in a novice and would have to be winning that to be going for a Derby Trial. He has really grown and improved through the Winter.

Video Form
30 May 2018:

The Revenant

  • 3-y-o; chestnut colt
  • Breeding: Dubawi - Hazel Lavery (Excellent Art)
  • Trained by: Hugo Palmer
  • Last Race: Epsom Downs, 1 Oct 2017 14:40
  • Result: 3/7, held up in last pair, headway on wide outside when switched left 2f out, soon chasing leading pair, ridden and one pace over 1f out, switched left again inside final furlong, no extra
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of one of his two starts. Made a winning debut at Haydock (1m) in September when scoring by three quarters of a length from Global Conqueror and third, beaten two lengths, to Dee Ex Bee in a conditions event at Epsom (1m 1/2f) the following month.

Trainer Says:

He is another with a fabulous pedigree and he won well on his debut at Haydock. He was unlucky in very soft ground at Epsom and had the door shut on him twice and if it had only been once I think he would have won. He could start in a novice and progress to a Derby Trial and he is in the 2000 Guineas. He is wanting to be catching pigeons to go for a Guineas Trial and the Guineas but it is not out of the question.

White Mocha (USA)

Form Profile:

Winner of two of his three starts and currently rated 99. Ended his first season with a nose victory from Knight To Behold in the Haynes, Hanson and Clark Stakes at Newbury (1m) in September.

Trainer Says:

He won two of his three starts at two and was only beaten a head in between. He has completely transformed over the Winter and I hope that makes him better. In his early work he has improved and James Doyle rode him the other morning and was happy enough with him. The earliest he could start would be in the Craven – he is out of a stout German family and by a French Derby winner. He ought to stay and he is another one who, if everything goes right, I can dream will be at Epsom on Derby Day.

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