Migrants Found In Horsebox Owned By Hugo Palmer In Calais

Hugo Palmer

Trainer Hugo Palmer has urged fellow handlers to be extremely vigilant when travelling back from Europe after two migrants were found in the back of his horsebox in the early hours of Monday morning.

The box and Palmer's staff were travelling back from Germany, through France after Heavenly Holly had finished fifth at Baden-Baden the day before.

Scanners detected two men in the back of the tack locker compartment at the ferry port in Calais with both the men that were found in the horsebox not able to speak any English or French.

(Credit Racing Post) Palmer said: "It’s a warning to everyone travelling back from France, but you have to feel sorry for people to be so desperate to be climbing into the back of a horsebox and whatever else. It’s terrible and you really have to feel for them.

"When the box went through the scanners my travelling head lad Pete McCulloch was told by the French authorities that there were two other people in the van and had to wait a couple of hours for the police to arrive before they were taken away.

"We don’t know how they got into the back of our lorry as my staff said they barely stopped. We guess it must have been when they were in a queue for about two minutes at Calais as their previous stop had been for fuel five hours earlier."

Palmer added: "I've never had anything happen like this before although my wife had her boot searched on her way back from Deauville not long ago."

Heavenly Holly was none the wiser for this ordeal but Palmer did express when talking about her actual run over in Germany that he was underwhelmed after she was easily beat in the seven furlong Listed Stadt Baden-Baden/Viererwette.

He said: "She’s increasingly looking like a six-furlong filly as she travelled into it quite nicely. 

"We were hoping to win but finished fifth, so we were a tiny bit disappointed, but she had a break after her run in Ireland and might just have needed it a little bit."