White Mocha primed to make seasonal debut at the Craven

HIGH HOPES: Hugo Palmer
HIGH HOPES: Hugo Palmer

Hugo Palmer has revealed that White Mocha is likely to feature in next week’s bet365 Craven Meeting at the Rowley Mile.

The three-year-old won on two of his three outings in 2017, including being first past the post in the Haynes, Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes at Newbury.

He holds entries for both next month’s QIPCO 2,000 Guineas and the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs in June, but Palmer is expecting the son of Lope de Vega to make his seasonal debut in either the Listed Feilden Stakes (Tuesday 4.10pm) or the Group 3 Craven Stakes (Thursday 3.35pm).

“White Mocha was an exciting two-year-old, but everything he did, he did with the promise of this year,” said the Kremlin Cottage Sables trainer, who won the 2,000 Guineas in 2016 with Galileo Gold.

“I have been very happy with how he has wintered and the chances are that he will probably reappear at the Craven Meeting, conceivably in the Craven itself, but possibly in the Feilden.

“He has a stout German pedigree on the female side and you would think Lope de Vega would give him a chance of staying at least a mile and a quarter, although his work so far suggests he has the speed for a mile at this time of the year.”

As well as White Mocha, Palmer has also opted to make a second entry for The Derby with Fajjaj.

The Dawn Approach colt, who captured an Ascot seven-furlong maiden before finishing a staying-on fourth at the same distance in the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket last year, is also being aimed at The Dante in York on May 17.

“Fajjaj just had the two starts at two and is a big, scopey horse,” added Palmer.

“He has more of a miler’s pedigree — his sire Dawn Approach ran in the Derby and did not stay, so we will have to see.

“I think Fajjaj will be at least a 10-furlong horse.

“He is doing everything right at the moment and I have put him in the Dante.”

Fajjaj is currently available as a 50/1 shot to win The Derby, while White Mocha is priced at 66/1.

There has been no Newmarket winner of the one-mile four-furlong Classic since Workforce, ridden by Ryan Moore, triumphed for Sir Michael Stoute in 2011.