Hugo Palmer: trainer of potential Classic hope Escobar
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Lewis Porteous 8:51AM 22 SEP 2016
ANYONE seeing Escobar in the flesh for the first time at Newmarket on Thursday will be excused a wry smile as there are few more-cleverly named horses in training than the son of Famous Name.
Named after the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, whose cartel at one stage supplied an estimated 80 per cent of the cocaine smuggled into the US, the equine Escobar’s unique facial markings include one all-white nostril, which inspired owners Ian Jennings and Fiona Carmichael when it came to naming the Hugo Palmer-trained two-year-old.
“The second time we viewed him at the sales he looked nothing like the horse we’d seen earlier in the day because we were viewing him from the other side,” explains Jennings. “I said ‘it’s the wrong horse’ but the lad explained about the one white nostril.
“We’d been watching the documentary film about Pablo Escobar on Netflix the week before and when my wife told me he was by Famous Name, I said ‘let’s call him Escobar because of his white nostril’. We did pay a lot more than anyone else might have, but after his first two runs he’s looking like a good purchase.”
Jennings and Carmichael are no strangers to good horses, having owned dual Group 2 winner Ivawood who finished third in the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas last year, while Carmichael was also part-owner of dual Group 1-winning miler Toronado before he was snapped up in a private deal by Al Shaqab Racing after an unbeaten juvenile campaign.
With two wins from two runs so far for Escobar, a top-priced 25-1 for next year’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas and Investec Derby, the husband-and-wife team are entitled to dream big.
Jennings says: “It’s very exciting. I think my wife hopes he follows in Toronado’s footsteps – that’s her dream.”