Michael Owen and Hugo Palmer forming solid strike partnership

Every good striker needs a partner and ex-England forward Michael Owen has appointed Hugo Palmer to help him score with his racing operations. The duo are ready to net in Saturday's 2000 Guineas.

Former England forward Michael Owen needed a new strike partner and his decision to appoint trainer Hugo Palmer for his Manor House Stables seems to be going well.

Owen subbed out Tom Dascombe and brought in Palmer for a new direction for his Cheshire racing operations.

The pair have an immediate chance for Classic glory with Dubawi Legend entered into the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.

There is also the potential for a Derby run with Mr McCann, owned by ex-Liverpool footballers including Jordan Henderson and James Milner, who all play for Owen's former club.

"I'm loving life up here and the most important thing is that the horses have settled in," said Palmer.

"I was always a bit twitchy, largely because the world is full of naysayers who questioned doing it so close to the season but there's been nothing to worry about, we've run an enormous amount of tests and continue to do so and not a single horse who moved has been off their food - as that would be their first sign of protest.

"The few who have run have run well and I'm very excited about the season going forward."

"Michael Owen is a very persuasive man. We've known each other for a long time and he first asked me in December to come, to which I said no," said Palmer.

"He asked a couple of weeks later and my answer was still no, but it wasn't until he rang on January 2 when I was up in Scotland when he talked me into having a look.

"It's a fabulously impressive place and if I convinced myself that I could do the job here better than in Newmarket and if I could convince the critical mass of the owners, then we were on - luckily the answer to both was yes.

"We're both hugely ambitious. I've always wanted to get to the top and I believe we have the facility and the opportunity here to do that. A lot of the biggest yards are a long way from Newmarket. Obviously there are some big yards there but the likes of Johnston, Easterby, Beckett, Fahey, Hannon and others aren't. We want to be up there with them.

"Horseracing is not entirely a numbers game, but if we want to be in the top 10 and have huge success, you've got a better chance with a few more horses."

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