Palmer relishing defence of his Irish Oaks crown


Architecture (near) heads to the Curragh for Saturday’s Irish Oaks

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

 By Mark Scully 10:40AM 13 JUL 2016 

HUGO PALMER is looking forward to Architecture’s rematch with her Ribblesdale Stakes conqueror Even Song in Saturday’s Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh.

The Newmarket-based trainer notched a first career Classic success in the same race 12 months ago with Covert Love and believes Architecture has a chance of reversing the form of her Royal Ascot outing.


Giving Palmer particular confidence is the filly’s second behind the brilliant Minding in the Oaks at Epsom last month and he also believes the Ribblesdale Stakes, in which she could manage only eighth, was not run to suit.

“Ascot was a disappointment,” Palmer told At The Races on Wednesday.

“Frankie just couldn’t get her into any sort of position in contention and I suppose the Oaks was only 13 days before, so perhaps had she not gone there she’d have finished a little closer.”

‘Paying her own way’

Connections have had to stump up a €40,000 supplementary fee but Palmer says the fact Architecture has claimed so much prize money this season means the decision to do so was made easier.

“Architecture won about £120,000 at Epsom, so she’s paying her own way to Ireland but also, Minding does look like the exceptional three-year-old filly of the year and we were only a few lengths behind her at Epsom,” Palmer said.

“The price of Even Song [8-13 best price] suggests the bookies think she would have split Minding and Architecture at Epsom but I’m not so sure she would have done.”

Palmer also refused to rule out a trip to Goodwood with Architecture following her Curragh outing, saying: “She’s still in the Nassau and I wouldn’t want to say either way.

“There’s fully 14 days between the two races and she’s a strong filly now, so who knows? We’ll go one race at a time at the moment.”

We Are Ninety gains Covert Love comparison

Palmer is also set to saddle the progressive We Are Ninety in Saturday’s Irish Oaks, after she finished sixth in last month’s Ribblesdale Stakes.

Like last year’s winner Covert Love, We Are Ninety made her seasonal reappearance at Chelmsford and has since added a Newbury Listed contest and Palmer was not shy about comparing the pair.

“Having won at Chelmsford then a Listed race and now going to this Group 1, she’s got a fairly similar profile to Covert Love this time last year and funnily enough, physically they look similar as well,” he said.

“The form of her Newbury win has worked out and she ran really well in the Ribblesdale. Despite being better drawn than Architecture, she actually came from further back and finished in front of her, so she definitely deserves to take her chance.”

We Are Ninety is as big as 25-1 for Saturday’s Curragh feature, with her stablemate second favourite behind Even Song at a general 6-1.

Horse Racing News | Racing Post

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