Hugo Palmer on "rescue mission" for Dubawi Legend after weak 2000 Guineas

Hugo Palmer has recently taken over training for Michael Owen but his Dubawi Legend has proven goal shy in the bigger races. A cut in trip may be in order for the three-year-old colt.

Hugo Palmer, the trainer taken on by Michael Owen, concedes he may have to drop Dubawi Legend back in trip after a disappointing last placed finish in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.

"It was terribly disappointing because he didn't run his race in any way. It's almost like he panics and forgets to breathe," said the trainer.

"He's such a relaxed horse at home and if you hadn't seen that happen in a race you would say his strongest suit is his mind because he's got such a good mind at home. Tom (Marquand) said he went to post in a relaxed fashion and in all his home work, even when he went for a racecourse gallop at Newmarket and Wolverhampton, he switches off so beautifully well.

"But he was aggressive in the Dewhurst, he was aggressive in America and he was aggressive in the Guineas and he was also quite aggressive in the Acomb, so it's sort of at least three times if not four times we've seen it now.

"It's frustrating and it is something we need to try and resolve and I think the next time he races he will wear a hood and hopefully that might help him relax. He ran very well in the Dewhurst behind the Guineas second and he made the running that day and I think we might just have to make the running with him going forward."

Palmer is considering a trip to France for ParisLongchamp's Listed Prix De Pontarme on May 26 to freshen his three year old colt up, while the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot isn't out of the equation.

"There's a race at Longchamp on May 26, a seven-furlong Listed race for three-year-olds only, so I thought we might go there and if he could win that he might be a horse for the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot," Palmer continued.

"I think we have to drop in trip and in grade. I joked on Sunday morning that before they changed the rules three years ago I would have run him in a novice race under a penalty off 115 and just get him some confidence, but quite rightly you can't do that anymore, so I think the Listed race is the lowest grade I can find for him at the moment."

There has been some suggestion that Dubawi Legend could make a sprinter but Palmer is resisting the call of the shorter distances for now.

"He may be a sprinter, he's a very fast horse, we may come back to six furlongs with him. But I think if we go straight to six and he's not a sprinter we'd never get him back," added Palmer.

"We're on a rescue mission because it went very badly wrong on Saturday. Although in many ways it is less depressing that he just didn't run his race than it would be if he was simply not good enough. If he finished eighth and just wasn't good enough I would be really gutted, but hopefully we can find the key to him, it was only his fifth start and he's still a young horse."

Latest news