Berwickshire man trains 2,000 Guineas winner

Trainer Hugo Palmer (left) with Galileo Gold and Frankie Dettori after winning The QIPCO 2000 Guineas.
Trainer Hugo Palmer (left) with Galileo Gold and Frankie Dettori after winning The QIPCO 2000 Guineas.

A Berwickshire man has “fulfilled his dreams” by training the winner of the first Classic horse race of the season at Newmarket on Saturday.

And many local punters in and around Duns were celebrating after having a little wager on the horse due to the local connection.

Hugo Palmer of Manderston, near Duns, won the Qipco 2,000 Guineas with Sheikh Joaan’s Galileo Gold and says he will now allow himself more time for thought before deciding on whether the Investec Derby or the Irish 2,000 Guineas will next for the three-year-old.

Writing in his Betfair blog on Sunday, Palmer said: “My dream is to win the Derby, but my job is to do the right thing for the horse. I would rather win an Irish 2,000 Guineas than finish sixth at Epsom.

“His pedigree gives you some hope that he will stay (the Derby trip) - he is out of a Galileo mare and from the family of Montjeu - and they say that the Guineas is the best trial for the Derby.

“Knee-jerk reactions could end up misleading people so the best thing to do is to let the dust settle and discuss our options, and make the right decision.”

Galileo Gold’s jockey Frankie Dettori, twice a winner of the Derby, said on Sunday he felt the horse had the class to go for the Classic and would be leaning towards a crack at Epsom.

“Galileo Gold is a special horse and certain to improve. The feeling he gave me yesterday tells me he’s probably ready for ten furlongs,” Dettori said in his Labdrokes blog.

“If you forced me to make a call now I’d say that for Epsom you need a top-class horse and I think Galileo Gold is top class so maybe I’d lean towards a crack.

“I don’t want to give up my Derby crown without a fight, but the big question is whether he’ll be ready for a mile and a half in less than five weeks. It could be touch and go.”

Mr Palmer now tops the trainers’ championship.