Brad The Brief given French mission

Hugo Palmer has highlighted the Prix Maurice de Gheest as the “obvious spot” for Brad The Brief to try and land a hat-trick following a perfect season so far.

The five-year-old is one of the horses Palmer inherited when taking over as salaried trainer to Michael Owen at the former England international’ Manor House Stables and the gelding has so far proved to be an asset on the Classic-winning handler’s team sheet.

Having finished his 2021 campaign with a fine second in a Group Three at Chantilly, the son of Dutch Art made a winning debut for Palmer when landing a Haydock conditions race in impressive fashion.

He then made a successful raiding mission to the Curragh when denying the ultra-consistent Mooneista in the Group Two Greenlands Stakes, the bay’s eighth career victory and first at that level.

But, with the majority of Brad The Brief’s victories coming with cut in the ground, Palmer admits he is willing to wait as long as it takes to ensure his charge’s next run is in optimum conditions.

“Brad The Brief is really fresh, he’s in great order,” said Palmer.

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“I’m determined not to make the wrong decision with him moving forward. I’ve been delighted to have been able to run him twice in this incredibly dry spell we’ve had and he’s won both times.

“He does want give in the ground, he doesn’t need that much give as he showed at the Curragh when it was pretty much good ground from what I was told, but he doesn’t want ground like we’ve been having.

“I’m having to hold him on the grid waiting for the lights to go green and the next obvious spot is to go to Deauville for the Maurice De Gheest providing the ground is right.”

That race is also on the agenda for Flaming Rib, who has already found the scoresheet at Chester this season before finishing second in both the Sandy Lane Stakes and Commonwealth Cup.

Flaming Rib, here winning at Chester, could also run in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville next month (Tim Goode/PA)
Flaming Rib, here winning at Chester, could also run in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville next month (Tim Goode/PA)

Those two high-class efforts in defeat convinced connections to supplement the Ribchester colt for the July Cup, but having been drawn low, the three-year-old was never a factor and Palmer is now keen to seek out a confidence-booster before a busy back-end of the season.

He continued: “Flaming Rib has had a busy old time, it didn’t quite work out for him in the July Cup, he was drawn away from the action, but he wasn’t beaten very far.

“I would like to make him a Group winner, he could potentially go to the Curragh (Rathasker Stud Phoenix Sprint Stakes, August 6) or he could also go to Deauville depending what the ground does. If the ground was softer over there he could easily go to Deauville.

“But, I would like to get him back into the winner’s enclosure, he’s had three tough asks since he last greeted the judge and I would just like to get another one next to his name before we look at the likes of Haydock, Ascot and the Breeders’ Cup.”

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