By Andy Stephens
Architecture is on course to make a belated return to action in Listed company next month.
The Hugo Palmer-trained filly chased home Minding in the Oaks last year and was also runner-up in the Irish equivalent, behind Seventh Heaven, before also finishing third in the German version.
Architecture has not been seen in public since finishing sixth to Journey in the QIPCO Fillies & Mares Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot more than ten months ago but Palmer is hoping the daughter of Zoffany will make up for lost time.
“Poor Architecture, she had a setback in the spring but she seems well over it now and has been cantering for some time now,” the trainer told #ThisFillyCan.
“I’m very happy with how she’s going and she’s much bigger and stronger than she’s ever been. Having been second in last year’s Investec Oaks, second in the Irish Oaks and third in the German Oaks, it’s very important for her that she gets some big black type and wins a Stakes race.
“We’ll be starting in a Listed race in four or five weeks’ time, possibly the John Musker at Yarmouth or a Listed race at Goodwood, and there’s one at Newmarket so she has three options in the last 10 days on September.
“If she managed to become a Stakes winner in one of those then she too would run at Ascot [on Champions Day]. She’s got the great advantage that she goes on any ground.”
Unforgetable Filly, winner of the German 1000 Guineas in June, has the Matron Stakes at the Curragh on September 9 on her agenda, plus a trip to Keeneland on October 14 for the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.
“She will head to the Matron Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend where she will meet a whole host of stars,” Palmer said. “Hopefully it’s a nice preparation for her to head to the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on which will hopefully suit her down to the ground.
“In hindsight, she was a little disappointing [when sixth] in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas because she ran so well to finish second in the Nell Gwyn. I didn’t expect her to win the Guineas, but I thought she should have been much closer than she was. There was too much of a gap between her and the main protagonists and I think she must have run a little below par.
Unforgetable Filly landed the German 1,000 Guineas in June
“We went to Musselburgh for their Listed race a couple of weeks later and she was strong through the line there. Then she stepped up to a mile successfully for the first time in Germany and she was strong to the line there, too.”
Vintage Folly disappointed at Saint-Cloud last time but Palmer is keen to run her on Champions Day.
Palmer said: “Vintage Folly on just her second start went to the Musidora at York where she finished second to Shutter Speed, which was very exciting.
“She was then disappointing in France but she’s had a break since then and has come back really well and we’re looking forward to an autumn campaign with her.
“Being Group-placed, it’s now important that she wins a Stakes race but her work has suggested she is up to that. She’s in the QIPCO Fillies & Mares race on Champions Day at Ascot and if she’s a Stakes winner by then we’ll let her take her chance in a Group One.”
Palmer will only consider giving Wall Of Fire an outing before the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington if it is necessary to guarantee his place in the line-up.
Plans are in place to ship the son of Canford Cliffs out to Australia at the end of next month to start his preparations for the big race in Australia on November 7. The four-year-old booked his ticket Down Under after finishing second in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.
"I was delighted with his run at Newbury,” Palmer said. “I think he was coming to win his race and he had the door shut firmly in his face, but that was just race riding. I'm sure that the connections of the winner [Defoe] would have said that if he had got to him he would have pulled out more but who knows as we won't be able to ask that question.
"He won't run again in Britain but he has qualified for the Melbourne Cup now and he is a little bit of a talking horse down there. He will be shipped out on September 28.
"Conceivably, he could run again if he needs to get a penalty to make sure he gets in the race, but he is on 52 kilograms and that's got in the race in the past. The race has been his goal all season."