Chester Boodles Festival 5: Michael Owen Says Hugo Palmer Could Be Champion Coach at Manor House Stables | Racing news
Manor House Stables founder and former England striker Michael Owen believes his new manager Hugo Palmer can become a Champion Coach one day.
Palmer moved from his old facility in Newmarket earlier this year to Cheshire to become a paid trainer at Manor House Stable, having previously worked at Kremlin Cottage Stables.
He sent Galileo Gold to win 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes in 2016, and coached 54 winners in 2021 along with a total of five Group One wins including Ebro River in last year’s Phoenix Stakes.
The move comes after Tom Dascombe parted company with Owen’s Manor House Stables in March after spending 12 years with the former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker.
And when talking to Racing sports cars in the sky Ahead of the May Boodles Festival in Chester, Owen said he thinks his new coach has all the capabilities and facilities to become the UK’s top pitcher.
“This is my pride and joy,” Owen said. “I set this up 17 or 18 years ago from the ground up. Along the way, I want our customers, owners, and employees to be proud of what we’re doing.
“And I also want Hugo to be hugely successful and I can’t see why he can’t be the best or become a Champion Coach in the years to come.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve looked on the coach’s desk and thought ‘who would be the right guy for this place?’
“I have to say that there aren’t many like that, with a lot of people bound and Hugo is one of them. I kept omitting his name thinking it would be impossible to get him in.
“A name too big, a coach too big and he’s established in Newmarket. Anyway, after a while I managed to twist his arm and I’m fully stocked here. He’s top class at what he does, on track and off it.”
Some of Owen’s highlights at Manor House Stables include Irish St Leger and Dubai Gold Cup winner Brown Panther, as well as star sprinter Kachy.
And while he admits the thrill will never compare with scoring a big goal for club or country, Owen said the feeling of victory on the track is near.
“It’s very different from simply going to the ballpark and performing to actually running a business.
“Scoring is exciting. I’ve searched and searched for something to replicate it but to no avail.
“But I tell you, when your horse is on the long reins and you think it’s going to win, it’s come close!
“The adrenaline rush is something quite exciting! Nothing compares to scoring the winning goal in a big game but this is the closest thing to it.”
Palmer cares about local winners
After leaving Newmarket’s hot race car, Palmer is keen to have a winner at his local meeting this week, with the May Boodles Festival as an early gauge of his progress with Manor House Stables.
But he is keen to point out that leaving Newmarket is not a step backwards, emphasizing that you don’t have to rely on it to maintain a strong stable.
“Obviously, when you’re in Newmarket, the July meeting is a very busy time of year so when you’re in Chester, the May meeting is going to be a very busy week,” Palmer said.
“Probably the quietest week Manor House will have in a few years but I expect it to be the quietest May we’ll have in years to come.
“A lot of these horses I’ve only known for a few weeks so it’s difficult to get a large number but we’re all set and it would be nice to have a winner and hopefully we have some chances.
“We both have huge ambitions for this place to make it one of the biggest and best not only in the country but also in the world.
“There’s a lot of big land outside Newmarket, in the North of England and you don’t have to be in Newmarket to be a powerhouse and that’s what we’re on our way to.”