Ground dictates Caravan Of Hope's Ebor journey

Tue 11th Aug 2020, 17:22

Caravan Of Hope, second right
© Photo Healy Racing
Hugo Palmer warns leading Ebor contender Caravan Of Hope could bypass the race at York on Saturday week.

The Nathaniel gelding may swerve the prestigious mile and three-quarter prize — for which he is a general 16-1 shot — if conditions are not suitable.

Having finished second at Wolverhampton on his seasonal return Caravan Of Hope, took a giant step forward on his latest outing when capturing the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.

Palmer said: “The hope is to run in the Ebor, but he needs cut in the ground and there is not lots of rain around.

“He is not guaranteed to get in off 98, either, but you would like to think that would be enough to.

“He has been a remarkably consistent horse and has never been out of the first four. He is really likeable horse that stays well, but the only thing he needs is give in the ground.

“Hopefully we can have him primed for the Ebor, if we are lucky enough to get in and conditions are right.”

Should an outing in the Ebor not materialise, Palmer will target the progressive stayer at the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in October.

He added: “If he doesn’t run in the Ebor we will probably wait for the Cesarewitch.

“I probably wouldn’t run him in the trial as that is worth buttons.

“There is no point carrying six or seven pounds more in a valuable race for winning buttons, so we would try to protect his mark.”

The Classic-winning handler reports Fillies’ Mile runner-up Powerful Breeze to be making good progress from the rib injury she sustained earlier in the year.

He said: “In these Covid-19 times when we are talking about curves her progression has followed the curve right from the start.

“She has never had a moment where she has gone backwards and at the same time she has never made a huge amount of improvement.

“She is nine weeks into her exercise programme and she has been cantering under a saddle since Wednesday.

“The person who rides her can’t believe how much bigger and stronger she is and while that means it might take more work to get back to full fitness, it’s a good sign as we have not missed the boat."

Palmer has identified the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on October 3 as a possible first port of call for the daughter of Iffraaj.

He said: “The first potential target could be the Sun Chariot. Her owner Dr Ali has stated that he wants her to race at four so equally we could swim in calmer waters first. Having been so patient we wouldn’t want to throw caution to the wind.”

An outing in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Keeneland in November could be on the agenda for Powerful Breeze — but only if all goes well on her comeback.

Palmer added: “I do think the nine furlongs on autumn ground in Keeneland would suit her well and it would be the only opportunity she gets to run for really good prize-money this year.

“She would not got straight to the Breeders’ Cup though and she would have to have performed very well to go there and the owner would have to be happy.”

THE IRISH TIMES