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Covert operation excites Palmer

Hugo Palmer expects Covert Love to handle the step up in distance when she runs in the Darley Irish Oaks on Saturday.

The Azamour filly was supplemented for the Classic after having won all three of her races, including a Listed event at Newcastle, this season.

Covert Love, who will be ridden by Pat Smullen, has yet to compete beyond an extended mile and a quarter, but Palmer does not see the hike in trip as being an issue at the Curragh.

The Newmarket handler told the Daily Mail: "She is trying a new distance of a mile and a half, but in three races at a mile and a quarter this season she has not looked like she has been stopping.

"She has been ridden by three different jockeys, all of whom have got off and said 'step her up in trip as soon as you can'.

"The lovely thing about racing is that with patience horses develop, change and surprise you.

"I have always liked her. Even when she was a weak two-year-old, she had a real air of class about her.

"We have had to spend all the money she has won this year (to supplement her) but it has rather crept up on us.

"She is not exuberant at home and saves her best for the track. On ratings, she only has a couple of lengths to find."

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