Horses To Follow » Palace


Palace was impressive in winning the one-mile fillies’ maiden that concluded proceedings at Navan on Saturday. Held up towards the back of the field by Joseph O’Brien through the early stages of the race, she started to progress from the top of the home straight. Still only fourth passing the three-furlong pole, with around five lengths to make up on the leader Gorteo, she made her ground nicely when Joseph gave her a squeeze, joined the leader just outside the furlong pole and cleared away up the hill to win nicely, putting more than four lengths between herself and her closest pursuer, clocking a good time in the process, the joint-fastest comparative time of the day.

It is significant that Aidan O’Brien said afterwards that this daughter of Fastnet Rock was the best filly that they had last season, despite the fact that she never made it to the track after suffering a slight setback. This was just her second run, and she had obviously progressed from her racecourse debut 10 days previously, when she had put up an encouraging performance to finish fourth in a decent-looking fillies’ maiden at Leopardstown – from which the runner-up has since won and the third filly has since run well in defeat – on unsuitably heavy ground. The ground was on the easy side at Navan on Saturday, it would not have been ideal, and, by Fastnet Rock, she should do even better when she gets to race on proper good or fast ground. Her trainer said afterwards that she will probably have one more run before lining up in the Irish 1000 Guineas, and she should be a leading player in the Curragh Classic. She would also be of interest at a big price if she did happen to take her chance in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, a race in which she still holds and entry.

12th April 2014