Past Winners » Premio Loco


I thought that Premio Loco would be clear favourite for this. It is a pity that Alexandros and Pressing have both come out, I was happy to be against the two of them, but with them out, I thought that Premio Loco would be a fair bit shorter than his current odds of 7/2, and he is a decent bet at that in my book.

Chris Wall’s gelding was a high class performer last season, highly progressive, making his name on the all-weather (he was just beaten by Scintillo when sent off a warm favourite for the Winter Derby) before transferring to the turf, winning a listed race at Goodwood at the end of May, showing a fine turn of foot.

He was perhaps off British and Irish radars in the autumn, because he went and won two Group 2 contests in Germany, and when he did reappear on our screens, he disappointed twice at Meydan in the spring. Given a nice break since then, he was most impressive on his debut in Britain this season last time, when he won a Group 3 seven-furlong race at Newmarket two weeks ago. He showed his trademark turn of foot that day to come from behind to catch and pass Red Jazz, the pair of them pulling clear of some useful rivals.

The form of the race is rock solid, Red Jazz was only just beaten by Rainfall in the Jersey, and that filly ran a cracker in the Falmouth Stakes on Wednesday, while Doncaster Rover, a high class performer, was back in third. What makes the performance more meritorious is the fact that Premio Loco was carrying an 8lb penalty. It was a huge performance.

He has a huge amount in his favour today. He is back competing off level weights, and that should obviously suit. He is a horse who usually comes on for his first run after a break, so he could be even better today than he was at Newmarket. His form over a mile is at least as good and probably better than his form over seven furlongs, so the step up back up to a mile will suit. Trainer Chris Wall’s horses are flying, and George Baker is back on board. Not that Jack Mitchell did anything wrong at Newmarket, he was very good on him actually, but George Baker knows the horse inside out, and he is a top rider. Premio Loco has never run at Ascot, but he goes well on fast ground and he goes well on Polytrack, all of which means that he should be good at Ascot. Also, he goes well around a bend, particularly a right-hand bend. He has won six of his seven races right-handed and he has finished second in the other one.

The main worry is about the pace today, ideally there will be a decent pace off which he can quicken. A slow pace would mean that there could be bunching in the home straight, and that is no good for a horse that is always held up. There is no automatic front-runner in the race, but hopefully Dingaan and Fareer will set a pace between them, and Vertigineux likes to race handily, so hopefully it won’t develop into a messy race.

Dream Eater is the biggest danger in my book, we put him up as a horse to follow after his Queen Anne run, but he just may not have Premio Loco’s turn of foot, and he is the same price. As long as George Baker gets the tactics right, as long as he isn’t too far back turning for home – we saw at the Royal meeting how difficult it is to come form too far back at Ascot – then it is easy to see Premio Loco going very close.