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Hugo Palmer hoping to build on Classic glory with Architecture

1 Jun 2016

Trainer believes Lingfield runner-up can make presence felt in the Investec Oaks on Friday

Architecture, right, was edged out by Seventh Heaven in the Lingfield Oaks Trial. Picture courtesy of

Hugo Palmer is hopeful that Architecture can provide him with a second slice of Classic glory by landing the Investec Oaks at Epsom on Friday.

Palmer achieved a landmark success with Galileo Gold in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in April and Frankie Dettori, who did the steering on that occasion, will again be on board.

The combination feature among a final field of nine for the third Classic of the season, which is the fifth race of the QIPCO British Champions Series. Even Song and How High The Moon were withdrawn from the race at today.

“I never go to the races thinking I’m going to win, but I always go there believing I can win,” Palmer said. “If you don’t believe that, then you should go somewhere else. I believe Architecture can win and that’s why she will be there.

“We are all in it to try and win these great races, that’s the dream.”

Palmer compared Galileo Gold with Muhammed Ali after his Guineas victory, such is the horse’s “I’m The Greatest” demeanour at home.

Architecture, who has had Epsom on her agenda since finishing a neck runner-up to Seventh Heaven in the Betfred Mobile Oaks Trial Stakes at Lingfield last month, is a more modest individual but herself not short of character.

“Fillies don’t have quite the same arrogance, but she’s not without kinks,” the trainer said. “Her rider has to take a lead rein out in the morning and get off her going home.

“She makes some extraordinary shapes but, touch wood, she’s beautifully balanced and lands every triple salto with absolute precision. Now I’ve said that she will probably end up on her bum tomorrow.”

A total of 24.2mm of rain fell at Epsom between yesterday and this morning, changing the ground to good to soft, soft in places. Palmer expects conditions to dry out but will not be too perturbed if they do not for the daughter of Zoffany, who is owned by Guernsey-based Chris Humber.

“She handled softish ground very well at Epsom’s Breakfast with the Stars last week,” he said. “There’s a difference between galloping and running on it, but she also won her maiden on soft ground last year.”

The likely short-priced favourite is Minding, who was in a different league to her rivals when landing the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket last month.

Minding seeks to become the 48th filly to pull off the 1000 Guineas/Oaks double and, in the process, join exalted names such as Sceptre (1902), Pretty Polly (1904), Sun Chariot (1942) and Petit Etoile (1959).

The Aidan O’Brien-trained daughter of Galileo, who was Europe’s champion two-year-old filly last year, finished runner-up to Jet Setting in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas on her latest start.

She burst a sinus when banging her head leaving the stalls at the Curragh, where the first two home pulled ten lengths clear of the third.

Ryan Moore, who partners Minding, is seeking a second win in the Oaks, having ridden 2010 winner Snow Fairy. O’Brien is chasing a sixth success in the race after the victories of Shahtoush (1998), Imagine (2001), Alexandrova (2006), Was (2012) and Qualify (2015).  

Click here to see profiles of all the Oaks runners.