Hugo Palmer hopes to continue rich vein of form with Aktabantay and Home Of The Brave

Drying ground at Sandown looks like enabling Aktabantay to run in Saturday's Group Two Solario Stakes as trainer Hugo Palmer bids to extend his excellent form.

The Newmarket trainer, in his fourth year with a licence, is enjoying his best season with 16 winners on the board, four of them in the last two weeks.Those successes included Short Squeeze at York’s Ebor meeting where Palmer’s other runners — Extremity and New Providence — were both second.

Oasis Dream colt Aktabantay is favourite for the six-runner Solario Stakes, having finished second to Estidhkaar in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket.

High hopes: Jockey Ryan Moore to ride Aktabantay in Saturday's Group Two Solario Stakes

High hopes: Jockey Ryan Moore to ride Aktabantay in Saturday's Group Two Solario Stakes

The going on Sandown’s sprint course was still heavy on Thursday but less testing on the round course on which the Solario is run.

Palmer, who has booked Ryan Moore to ride Aktabantay, as well as Audacia in the Atalanta Stakes, said: ‘If there were more rain he would be a non-runner but that doesn’t look likely. The word “good” could appear in the going description by Saturday. That will suit Aktabantay but Audacia can’t have it soft enough.’

Palmer’s exciting colt Home Of The Brave will attempt to justify his entry in the Group One Middle Park Stakes in the Sirenia Stakes at Kempton.

The son of Starspangledbanner was an effortless winner at Newmarket in July.

Palmer added: ‘He ripped them apart from halfway. He’s bred to get a mile and if he can learn to settle and use his speed over a mile he could be a very serious tool.’ 

Meanwhile, the Barry Hills-trained duo of Jolly Red Jeanz and Soul Intent have been identified as being involved in racing’s Morphine contamination case as the BHA announced a disciplinary hearing will be heard on September 25.

Both horses – Soul Intent at Epsom on July 3 and Jolly Red Jeanz at Chester on July 12 – were winners.

Eight horses, including Strath Burn trained by Hills’ son Charlie, tested positive to Morphine with the highest profile being the Queen’s Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Estimate. Six were winners.

All eight will be disqualified but the BHA will not be pressing for a financial penalty to be imposed on their trainers having accepted the positive tests were as a result of contaminated feed.

Seven of the eight cases will be heard on September 25 but the feed-related positive test of Eve Johnson Houghton’s Chepstow winner Charlie Wells will be heard at a later date because of differences in the case.


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