Hugo Palmer has two runners in action on day two at Royal Ascot in the form of Unforgetable Filly and Arbalet. Here he discusses their form and chances...
"Bearing in mind her best performance came at this time last year, it's perhaps significant that her work rider told me the other morning that she has never felt so good coming into a race."
Royal Ascot 15:40 - Unforgetable Filly's best form would put her in the mix
She won the German Guineas for us exactly a year ago but, having finished stone last on her last two starts in 2017, we were nervous that despite her good home work, she might no longer be a racehorse. So it was a great relief to see her run so well on her return to action at Leicester having missed two engagements due to the ground.
She has taken quite a long time to come to hand this year, but she has very much come to herself now, and bearing in mind her best performance came at this time last year, it's perhaps significant that her work rider told me the other morning that she has never felt so good coming into a race.
Like most of my runners this week, she will need to produce a career best to win, but she does appear to be in a place at the moment which suggests that she can achieve that. Hydrangea will be very hard to beat if running to her mark, but take her out of the equation and it's a very tight contest, and Unforgetable Filly's best form would put her in the mix.
She's crying out for a mile now, and the stamina test at Leicester was insufficient for her, while the ground was on the slow side of good, and she really does need to hear her feet rattle to produce her best. I'll be praying that they don't put much water down on Tuesday night, and that the sun bakes the ground, as she really can't have it too fast.
Royal Ascot 17:35 - Expecting a big race from Arbalet
Arbalet's a very interesting horse. We ran him in the Solario Stakes at Sandown last year and were very happy with his effort in finishing third, and since then he's run disappointingly twice at Newmarket, and we've come to the conclusion that he absolutely hates the track there; he can't come down the hill, he's frightened by it, he just can't cope with it.
I sent him to Carlisle for a confidence booster, which worked perfectly; he beat a moderate field as easy as he liked, and his work since has been really encouraging. It's given him confidence, and he's very pleased with himself as a result.
He will need a big career best to win a race like the Jersey, but it's worth remembering the Solario result again, where he finished ahead of the 107-rated Purser who reopposes, and was beaten only by Masar and Romanised, who have won the Derby and the Irish 2000 Guineas this season.
If you strip out his Newmarket runs, then his profile looks much more attractive, and he would be a lot shorter in the betting than 50/1. We used to think he wanted a bit of cut in the ground, but both his wins have come on good to firm, and he is a big-striding horse who appreciates an uphill finish.
It's asking a lot for him to run to a mark of 115, which is what I think it would take to win this race, but I do think he will run a really big race, and I'm excited to be running him.