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Galileo Gold and Frankie Dettori back in full swing

24 Apr 2017

Hugo Palmer has the dual QIPCO British Champions Series winner in prime shape for Lockinge

Sealed with a kiss: Dettori and Galileo Gold clicked in a workout at Newmarket lasy week.Picture: Racingfotos.com

Hugo Palmer said today that the spark between Frankie Dettori and Galileo Gold had been rekindled after their relationship last season had ended “a little bit on the rocks”.

The combination lit up the first half of the QIPCO British Champions Series last year with victories in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes but signed off with below-par efforts in France and the QIPCO Champion Stakes on Champions Day.

Palmer believes there were mitigating reasons.

“We ran him three times quickly at the start of the year and then it was quite a struggle to get him to Goodwood [for the Sussex Stakes] absolutely spot on and I will always have a tiny suspicion he was not quite at his peak, but he wasn’t beaten very far, and I regret now taking him to France so hot on the heels of that.

“The horse didn’t have the time to relax and it buzzed him up and he never really calmed down for the rest of the year and I think it’s fair to say when Frankie got off him at Ascot, having had two less than pleasurable times with the horse, their relationship was a little bit on the rocks.

“That was really the main purpose of Thursday’s gallop at Newmarket: to remind Frankie what an engine this horse has and for them to get back in love with each other again.

“He’s just grown up and the look on Frankie’s face – the sort of hugging and kissing of the horse afterwards – you really felt the magic was back between them. It’s so important they believe in each other.”

Galileo Gold is set to contest three successive Champions Series races – the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes on May 20, followed by the Queen Anne Stakes and Qatar Sussex Stakes.

“We’ve got four nervous weeks to avoid standing on stones or banana skins between now and Newbury,” Palmer said. “I feel hugely privileged to have him still in training as a four-year-old.”