Hugo Palmer saddles just one runner on Newmarket's final meeting of the year, and here the Betfair Ambassador discusses the chances of Collide in the Listed race..
Tough task but Collide promises to improve massively as a 4yo
Collide is taking a marked step up in grade after winning a handicap at Nottingham last month, but it's a step up I feel he is capable of making at some point, I'm just conscious that he hasn't been racing for too long and is still only a three-year-old. With a winter on his back I really believe we will see an enormous amount of improvement in him, and I'm confident he will make up into a pattern performer next season.
We know he goes in the ground, but there are plenty of those in the field, notably Air Pilot; we don't yet know how he will handle Newmarket's undulations, but he coped well with Hamilton in the summer, he's always looked well balanced in his work at home, and is a strong, athletic horse, so I'm hopeful in that regard, and if he can run well here it will be fuelling excitement for next season.
It was only a handicap he won last time, but it was a 0-90 contest, and one that usually produces a good winner, and he didn't just win there, but opened them up. Prior to that the ground had been very heavy and sticky at Ayr, and Richard Kingscote, to his credit, blamed himself for that defeat, saying he felt he could have won if he'd done one or two things differently on the day. I'm not sure he did anything wrong, to be honest, but it's the mark of a good jockey to think like that. I think the ground was the key, and there are plenty of horses who want ease underfoot but won't handle that kind of heavy going, and he appears to be one of them.
There's not a cloud in the sky here in Newmarket at the moment, and while it's not warm enough to dry up much, it certainly won't be getting any worse with no rain forecast, and I think it will ride a little bit quicker than soft on Saturday, which is akin to how it rode at Nottingham. That will be fine for him, and fingers crossed he can cope with this tougher assignment.