Impressive hurdles debut by Palmero

Cambridge trainer Chris Wood unleashed an exciting hurdler at the Rotorua — Bay Of Plenty Hunt meeting at Arawa Park today.

Wood saddled up Palmero to record a runaway debut hurdles victory in the hands of Cambridge’s top jumps jockey Richard Cully.

Palmero had been a winner three times on the flat and before the race Wood suggested he was expecting a bold showing from the son of Hawk Wing, though he didn’t imagine a 14-length win was on the cards.

Palmero gave a good display and when Lohan, his only major rival in the run home, fell at the second-last fence he had the race shot to pieces. But even if Lohan had completed the course it would have made no difference as Palmero was still travelling so easily at the finish.

An Australian-bred, Palmero is owned by Roger Cooksley and Kerry Verner and when the latter retired from a successful training career a few months ago he gave the horse to Wood to prepare.

Wood had prior experience with Palmero, having prepared the horse for the Ready To Run sale on behalf of Cooksley and Verner.

Though Palmero was not sold as a two-year-old, there is a strong chance he could now be snapped up as a jumper. “He’s on the market and after today’s win he’s very marketable,” said Wood.  If Palmero does stay a bit longer in the Wood stable he is likely to run at Ellerslie on October 16.

Also on Hunt programme today local Cambridge apprentice Maija Vance continued on her winning way when guiding the Ken and Lisa Rae-trained Uppland to a strong-finishing maiden win. Earlier in the day Vance had ridden stablemate Upsala in an exhibition gallop.