Hugo Palmer has a pair of runners in action at Newmarket for Day 2 of the Craven Meeting and he's hopeful of good performances from both. Here's why...
"The ground here will be more akin to the conditions he's won in at Haydock, and his work on Racecourse Side has always been good, so I'd be hopeful of a nice run from him."
Hyperfocus had wind surgery after his final start last year, and he's had an outing this season, but I'd not read too much into it, as he absolutely hated the ground at Bath, which was hock deep. He's won on soft going, but he struggled to pick his feet out of the ground on the way to post at Bath, and didn't come home much quicker.
The ground here will be more akin to the conditions he's won in at Haydock, and his work on Racecourse Side has always been good, so I'd be hopeful of a nice run from him. He improved for being gelded in the middle of last season, and although he's not a giant at all, he's grown and strengthened again over the winter. The aim this season is to get him to a level where he can compete in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, the Stewards Cup at Goodwood, and all those big-money sprint handicaps through the season.
Dukhan has done very, very well from two to three - he's really developed and strengthened up. He would have had a better two-year-old season but for picking up an injury on his second start at Newmarket in July, which is why he hung that day having run well on debut.
He was probably a bit undercooked when we brought him back to the track at Chelmsford in the autumn, but he still did well to win that day, and he's had a straightforward prep this spring. His win came over a mile, but he's bred to want 10 furlongs, and his work suggests as much as well.