Palmer targets Newbury prize

Best Of Days is set to drop in class

Hugo Palmer intends to drop Royal Lodge winner Best Of Days back in class and trip on his next start.

The son of Azamour will be aimed the Listed bet365 Stakes, better known as the Steventon Stakes, over a mile and a quarter at Newbury on July 22.

Royal Lodge trailed home last in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot on his seasonal return.

Palmer said: "It was a messy race and it went badly for him. He was drawn wide and was a bit sluggish away but it was only his fourth run of his career.

"He has come back from it great but I think with him now we will go through his grades.

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"He was taken out of the Irish Derby and going to the Eclipse would be a bit too much after that.

"I think the Steventon Stakes over 10 furlongs at Newbury is where will go with him."

Plans are in place to step the recently-gelded Escobar, who finished down the field in the Jersey Stakes, back up to a mile for next month's Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood.

The Newmarket handler said: "Was it the ground that beat him at Ascot? I don't know.

"I felt at the two-pole that we were going to win a Royal Ascot race. His head came up though and it didn't quite happen.

"Pat Smullen, who bred him, said he moved great on the ground and I am sure he will handle softer.

"He was gelded the Monday after Ascot as the trainer and the owners were blowing more than the horse after the race!

"The obvious race is going to be the Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood over a mile and I think he will appreciate going round the bend like he did at Sandown."

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