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Dubawi Legend could chart direct Dewhurst route

Dubawi Legend could head straight for Darley Dewhurst Stakes after missing an intended outing at Doncaster last week.

Hugo Palmer’s juvenile made a huge impression on his racecourse debut at Doncaster in July and was a hot favourite to follow up in the Group Three Acomb Stakes at York last month.

Dubawi Legend was not disgraced in finishing third on the Knavesmire, but Palmer admitted to being disappointed, such is the regard in which he is held.

The youngster was pencilled in to contest either the Flying Scotsman or the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival, but following an unsatisfactory scope, he could now step up to Group One level at Newmarket on October 9.

“We were so disappointed when he didn’t win the Acomb, so he was scoped before declarations (for Doncaster) and his scope wasn’t good enough to run. He’s not ill, so we will just have to see,” said Palmer.

“I expect he’ll go straight to the Dewhurst, just because of lack of options.

“I don’t think we’ll take him to France (for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere), unless the ground was fast in France and looked like being soft at Newmarket.

“They’re only a week apart and he is a top of the ground horse.”

Palmer looking to Dubawi Legend to deliver in Acomb

Hugo Palmer believes Dubawi Legend’s ability to “quicken twice” bodes well for an exciting future – starting with the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes at York on Wednesday.

Already third-favourite with a host of firms for the Qipco 2000 Guineas, the two-year-old was an impressive five-length winner on his debut at Doncaster and Palmer feels the Group Three over seven furlongs is the logical next step.

“He’s done two proper bits of work since Doncaster and they’ve gone very well,” said Palmer.

“Everything has been smooth – he’s trained very well, I think he’s come forward and he’s tightened up a bit. I think there is still a great deal to come for him.

“York is a wonderful track and the Acomb is the most obvious race. It’s the next step and I think he’s ready to take it.

“He quickened twice at Doncaster – he quickened to the lead and he quickened again when James (Doyle) got about him. It’s rare for a horse to be able to quicken once. Very rare – I think – for a horse to be able to quicken twice.

“Things can go wrong, of course they can, but it would have been very disappointing had he not won very well on what he had shown us at home.

“He’s always been very natural and has a great turn of foot. Very genuinely, if he wasn’t a Dubawi with a pedigree, he would have been ready to win the Brocklesby. He has been like that from the word go – strong, forward and sharp – and we’ve always liked him very much.

“We thought he might get a chance to start over six furlongs before Ascot, but he managed to give himself a haematoma on his quarters. That held him up for a couple of weeks, which was probably the making of him.

“He’s a very fast horse with a very quick action and an electric turn of foot. Everything in his pedigree and everything I know about him points to him being a miler and that’s what we’ll be determined for him to be.

“If he starts getting beaten over a mile looking like he wants to go further, then of course further is an option, but he looks like an out-and-out miler to me for next year.”

Hugo Palmer already has one top-class juvenile in Ebro River
Hugo Palmer already has one top-class juvenile in Ebro River (PA Wire)

Palmer already houses one very smart juvenile in Phoenix Stakes winner Ebro River, but the trainer does not see any similarities between the pair.

“Not really, no. They live next door to each other, but they’ve never worked together and they’re a different colour,” he said.

“Dubawi Legend has always been a consummate professional from day one whereas Ebro River has been a work in progress, who has been brilliantly ridden at home and has got better and better with each day, week and start. They’re just different types.”