Hugo Palmer: My Saturday runners at Newbury and Newmarket
14:30 Newbury – Escobar
He obviously was mightily impressive when winning his maiden over course and distance, especially after proving very silly and less than tractable in the preliminaries where even getting a saddle and a jockey on him was hard enough. That took us by surprise as he had shown no such tendencies at home, but he clearly did very little wrong in the race, winning in the manner of a very smart colt. He will hopefully fulfil one or two of his Group race entries later in the season but, at the moment, he is only a maiden winner. We took him to Newmarket last week to paddock-school him and he behaved like an angel. So hopefully Newbury was just a one-off.
16:10 Newbury – Home Of The Brave
Things haven't really gone this horse's way since he made all to beat Convey in the John Of Gaunt at Haydock in May, or even before that in fact as we missed the Lockinge with him after the rain came. An infected cut on a joint meant a plan to supplement him for the July Cup didn't come to fruition and then he didn't have the chance to set his own tempo when second to Dutch Connection in the Lennox at Goodwood. If he had, then I think he may have ratcheted it up more effectively from the front. He never really relaxed at Goodwood and if he had been able to lead, he could have gone a touch steadier and dictated a muddling pace. Then Dutch Connection may not have been able to engage the turbo as all his best races come off a blistering pace.
The form of the Lennox may not have been boosted by the Prix Maurice De Gheest on Sunday but I think that is largely irrelevant, as the ground was softer than advertised and it was only 10 days between the races. I mentioned earlier things haven't really panned out for him this season but at least we come here with a fresh horse, so it may have worked in his favour. He is officially the best horse in the race at these weights, there could be more to come from him, and he will love the ground. I respect the opposition, as always, but he has a favourite's chance.
17:00 Newmarket – Harry Champion
There were excuses for his first two runs this season – he didn't enjoy the ground at Epsom and he probably went too hard from the front over 1m next time – and he ran a far more promising race here last time. That was over a mile but I still have my doubts as to whether he is fully effective at that trip. Even though he finished his race off well from off the pace last time, they went a crawl early. Back to 7f on fast ground, off a mark of 75 and with Marc (Monaghan) claiming 3lb, then I think he has a definite chance to add to his Wolverhampton win last season. Perhaps he needs covering up off a fast pace over this trip but we will see.Read More at betfair.com