It’s been a season to remember for Hugo Palmer, from Covert Love claiming both the Irish Oaks and the Prix de l’Opera to Galileo Gold providing him a winner at Glorious Goodwood, and he might not be done just yet.
This week the handler spoke of how it is looking increasingly likely his Nottingham maiden scorer will take up his chance in the Racing Post Trophy.
And with John Gosden’s Foundation an extremely prohibitive Evens, it could be worth backing Palmer to strike on Town Moor.
While he doesn’t have the Group race form that a number of his rivals do Mengli Khan looks full of untapped potential.
His victory on his last start was encouraging if nothing else, running green, but pulling away strongly from a field packed full of unexposed rivals.
That win came after a third placed finish at Newmarket where his inexperience was even more clear.
One of the first ones off the bridle under Harry Bentley, he eventually plugged on in third, clear of much of the field, only for the first two to have already bolted clear.
The progress he made from his first run to his second was telling, and if stepping up again in Yorkshire could be a major player at 13/2.
His half-sister Chriselliam held a similar profile, gradually improving throughout her two-year-old season, culminating in success in the Shadwell Fillies’ Mile and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf on her final two starts.
There is also plenty of encouragement from his sire’s side of his breeding.
Lope De Vega has made a solid start at stud, producing a number of Group winners at two-years-old, including Belardo, Burnt Sugar and Royal Razalma.
The former of that trio was named Champion Two-Year-Old last year, so the pedigree is there for Mengli Khan to run well at Doncaster.
A drop back half a furlong from his last run could also suit, with the colt rather lit up in the early stages at Colwick Park.
Throw in the damp conditions and the already good-to-soft ground and he could have a slight advantage over a number of his rivals on Saturday.
Favourite Foundation has only previously triumphed on the current surface, so if it were to turn soft there would be another question to answer for the market leader.
Another shorter in the betting, Tony Curtis has only won or good ground or firmer and will be entering new territory if it cuts up underfoot.
He needs to eke out further improvement, but with all signs pointing to just that, it looks worth backing the emerging talent that is Hugo Palmer bagging the final Group 1 of the season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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