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Dark Red Brightens Up The Knavesmire

Mon 16 October 2017

After a luckless run at Chelmsford recently where he was stuck behind a wall of horses with nowhere to go, we wandered whether 2017 might just not be Dark Red’s year. Having been disqualified at Glorious Goodwood back in July when finishing first past the post in a valuable 10f handicap and placing on three other occasions in competitive handicaps it was becoming a frustrating year for everyone connected with the smart son of Dark Angel. He went up to York to contest a valuable 10f handicap with many familiar foes in opposition and he sported headgear for the first time in the hope it may sharpen him up and unlock some improvement from the grey gelding.


He was a fraction slowly away and Franny Norton settled him at the rear of the field in the early part of the race. As looked likely beforehand there was no one willing to make it an even gallop from the start and the early fractions were sedate. As the field entered the straight Dark Red travelled well and he started to make ground through the field. He was soon on the leaders’ heels and Franny asked him to go and win his race at the furlong marker. He soon put distance between himself and his rivals and although he shifted left in the closing stages, he had plenty in hand to win by two and a quarter lengths.


This was a career best from our gelding and the handicapper is likely to put him up around six pounds to a career high mark in the triple digits. He has now proven himself on good ground as well as on a softer surface and with rain due at Ascot in the middle of the week he may well head to the Balmoral handicap on Saturday if he comes out of this win in good form. He will carry a six pound penalty there but a fast run mile may suit him if the forecast rain materialises. It looks very competitive but the prize money on offer is fantastic.


Congratulations to Dark Red’s owner The Hon Ronnie Arculli. We are delighted that your gelding has finally got his head in front this year and landed a valuable prize and it has given everyone here at La Grange a boost. We hope he can run another big race for you before the end of the season. Well done to everyone at La Grange, this was our 44th winner of 2017 and we hope we can get to 50 before the end of the year.

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