Palmer lands first Classic success with Covert Love

CLASSIC SUCCESS: Newmarket-based trainer Hugo Palmer (right) pictured with groom Glen McGee (left) who scored his first Classic success on Saturday as Covert Love won the Darley Irish Oaks ANL-150721-205054009
CLASSIC SUCCESS: Newmarket-based trainer Hugo Palmer (right) pictured with groom Glen McGee (left) who scored his first Classic success on Saturday as Covert Love won the Darley Irish Oaks ANL-150721-205054009

Hugo Palmer admitted the achievement of winning his first Classic race is now only starting to sink in.

The Newmarket-based trainer’s runner, Covert Love, saw off Jack Naylor and 15/8 favourite Curvy to win the Darley Irish Oaks on Saturday evening.

And after seeing the 7/1 shot land him his maiden Classic victory, a delighted Palmer had nothing but praise for his bay filly.

“It’s almost surreal,” Palmer said. “It was very tough and I’m incredibly proud of her and the whole team.

“They made her what she is, and it’s now beginning to sink in what we have achieved.”

After being supplemented into the race at a cost of 40,000 euros (£28,136), Pat Smullen rode the daughter of Azamour to first place by a length and three quarters at the Curraugh Racecourse.

The win continued Covert Love’s unbeaten run in 2015, with the three-year-old having already claimed victories in Chelmsford, York and Newcastle earlier this year.

“She’s now won her last four races,” Palmer said. “Every penny she’d won in racing was spent to supplement her into the race.

“I’m delighted we did it and I’m sure the people who paid to include her in the race are too.

“I’m not sure what the plan is for her yet, there are some good fillies at Newcastle.”

Palmer’s memorable weekend in Ireland continued with success in the Friarstown Stud Minstrel Stakes on Sunday afternoon.

James Doyle led Palmer’s 7/2 shot Home Of The Brave to victory in the Group Three race ahead of 7/4 favourite Gordon Lord Byron over seven furlongs.

However the 34-year-old trainer knows his plans for this weekend will eclipse last weekend’s success in Curraugh.

Palmer is set to tie the knot with long-time girlfriend Vanessa Webb at his ancestral home in Berwickshire on Saturday.

“It’s going to be two good weekends in a row for me,” he said. “I’m very much looking forward to it.”