Michael Owen says expectations are “high” for his new partnership with coach Hugo Palmer after Ever Given returned home to give them their first winner together in Chester.
Owen and his former manager Tom Dascombe have always been a force to be reckoned with at the Roodee and upon his appointment, the Palmer Classic winner knew one of his jobs would be to ensure the team would be well represented at the big May track meeting.
While Palmer pointed out his squad would be smaller than expected given he’s only been at Manor House Stables, near Malpas, for a few weeks, all nerves would have been calmed by the sleek four-and-three quarters verdict. by Ever Given.
owen said Sky Sports Racing“We came here with low expectations and just a few riders as Hugo hasn’t been on site too long, so it’s nice to have one on the board straight away.
“There was never really a worrying moment, it was a performance.
“I haven’t employed a child, he’s a Classic winning coach and he’s been doing it for years and years.”
Asked about expectations from the yard, Owen replied: “High. Not just this season because it’s a long term thing, we have huge plans.”
Palmer was not only relieved but also slightly surprised that Ever Given had won so easily.
“He had worked well some days and only OK some others – but he had never worked badly, so we weren’t sure what to expect,” he said.
“It’s been like that with all the horses we’ve raced, because I’ve only known them for six weeks.
“I told all the owners ‘I think we’re in the right place and hopefully we’ll run well and then we’ll make a plan’ and most of them ran well to be fair – but no d between them as well as him!
“He has options open for the rest of the year. He has no entries, but if the ground was similar, could he end up opting for Sandy Lane (in Haydock)? I don’t know.
“We have quite a few in the same boat with Ebro River, Hierarchy and Flaming Rib and maybe at some point Dubawi Legend too, who could also end up being a sprinter. We could get a rough ride in the Haydock Sprint Cup!”
Dream alive for Liverpool stars with Mr McCann
Owen hopes to give Liverpool fans another reason to cheer on Thursday, as Mr McCann – owned by James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin and Andy Robertson, as well as Brighton’s Adam Lallana – runs in the Dee Stakes (2.40) live on Sky Sports Racing.
“Obviously the Liverpool guys have had other things on their minds lately, but they went to see him recently. I know when I was playing the run it was a big outing,” Owen said. .
“Now that the game is over, I’m sure they’ll be tuned in, but with the games coming up, it’s inevitable that they won’t be able to make it to race days. They’ve been in the yard several times and seem like they are having fun.
“Just having a runner in a race like the Dee Stakes with your first horse is an achievement and if he runs well then the dream is still alive.”