Betfair Ambassador Hugo Palmer provides the inside track on his Saturday entries including Never Back Down in the Doncaster Stakes...
"He goes on the ground, and this doesn't look the strongest renewal of the Horris Hill, so I'm very hopeful."
- Hugo Palmer on Alba Power
13:10 Newbury - Expensive Liaison
A daughter of Camelot out of a Sir Percy mare, she is very much one for next year, but she handled softish ground well at Nottingham and ran really well to be beaten just a couple of lengths, and with normal improvement she should go close here.
I'd like to think she will progress from first to second start, but she's a light-framed filly, and I'm always a bit concerned about running a weak filly second time when they've excelled themselves on debut. It can take quite a bit out of them, and fillies can go off at this time of year, so with that in mind, I've made sure to give her a bit of extra time.
13:45 Doncaster - Never Back Down
Obviously, he's had quite a long break after picking up an injury in the spring, and we slightly rushed him back for the Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar - it was worth getting him there given the prizemoney on offer, but if it was just a £5k novice, we wouldn't have run.
He ran with a lot of credit, but was a bit gassy and keen in the race itself, and understandably got a bit tired late on, and our mission is to minimise the chance of that happening again. To that end, he will be fitted with a rug for stalls entry, not because he plays up in the stalls, as is often the reason, but horses who wear the rug tend to jump half a stride slower, and if he does that it will give Ryan a chance to get him tucked in and avoid over-racing, as he did at Redcar, with the aim of preserving his finishing kick.
I'd like to think there is improvement to come, and his most recent piece of work was very pleasing.
14:15 Newbury - Architecture
She ran well on her return from absence here in September, and I think the combination of a quick pace and drop back to 10 furlongs played against her at Newmarket last time, but she seems in good form and looks well.
She's still relatively fresh, the return to further is very much in her favour, and she's proven on the ground, so while this is a tough race, there are lots of reasons to expect a good show, and I'm looking forward to running her.
14:50 Newbury - Alba Power
Alba Power is in exceptional form, and despite a busy campaign, he's looking better now than at any other time in the season. I had hoped that he'd be suited by a mile at Deauville last time, but it proved too far for him, and the drop to seven furlongs will suit.
He goes on the ground, and this doesn't look the strongest renewal of the Horris Hill, so I'm very hopeful.
15:55 Newbury - Pulitzer
She ruined her mark at York, going up 15lb for running well against the colts, but the aim has always been to get black type, and I'm not overly concerned about handicaps at this stage. She now gets her preferred ground, and I think she'll stay 7f as she's out of a Black Sam Bellamy mare, and she was strong at the finish when winning over six at Haydock.
Newbury should suit, and she's in great shape at home, so looks to have every chance back against her own sex. The race is strong numerically, which is no surprise as the prospect of gaining black type means that listed fillies' races tend to fill.
16:30 Newbury - Sudona
Sudona is by Zoffany out of a Montjeu mare, so bred along similar lines to Anythingtoday, who has done so well for the stable this year, but she's a different type physically, a big, good moving filly who shows a bit of knee action.
I'm hopeful she'll handle the ground, but she's very much next year's filly, and this will be her first day out of school, so we'll see how we get on with her, and hopefully she can learn as much as she can from the experience.