Latest news

Glorious Victory For Verdon On The Knavesmire

Sun 14 July 2019

Red Verdon gained a richly deserved first Group-race success in the John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes at York on Saturday afternoon. The six-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid was given a fine ride by David Allan and showed an enormous amount of guts and determination to prevail in a desperate three-way finish. Few could begrudge Red Verdon a marquee success such as this, and we send a huge note of congratulations to Verdon’s owner the Hon Ronnie Arculli.

Held up early on in his usual blinkers, Verdon was enthusiastic as ever with the way he raced, but relatively nicely settled in his jockeys hands. He slotted into second last position as Weekender took the field along from Kelly’s Dino, with only market leader Raheen House sitting behind us. As the field swung for home, Red Verdon began to stealthily creep into the race, along with Raheen House and fellow market fancy Gold Mount.

By the furlong pole Kelly’s Dino and Weekender had wilted, and it was left to Red Verdon and Gold Mount to slug it out, with the lurking presence of Raheen House impossible to ignore. With the latter gaining by the stride, the three horses dived for the line in a desperate scramble but it was Red Verdon who had his head in front as they passed the post.

It was a wonderfully executed ride, and the horse had to really dig deep and show an awful lot of courage. There have been occasions in the past when Verdon’s enthusiasm for a battle has been called into question, as he has finished second an awful lot of times during his career. However, he dispelled any questions regarding his temperament and character with this display of blood and thunder on the Knavesmire.

There are now many potential options on the horizon for Verdon, though of course a return to York for a crack at the extremely lucrative Ebor will be given serious consideration. He was sweetened by a spell away from the yard not so long ago, and it seems to be the case that keeping him fresh now he is a little bit older is absolutely vital.

At this point must try and pay tribute to all of those who have worked wonders to get the horse back to his best and contributed to yesterday’s victory. There is no time to mention everyone individually, but the team in the yard led by assistant trainer Tory Hayter have worked tirelessly with this horse, whilst Sophie Buckley – who managed Verdon’s time away from us at La Grange – returned him to us in wonderful condition and a super frame of mind. Travelling head lad Robin Trevor-Jones and Cerys Holmes who travelled him, also did a brilliant job in managing the horse on the way to and from the track yesterday, whilst we must not forget David Allan. Having never sat on the horse before the race, David produced a textbook ride to deliver the verdict by such a narrow margin. Finally, we must thank Mr Arculli for his unstinting patience and resolve that Red Verdon could get his head in front in a big one!

With plenty of the season left to look forward to, hopefully it is onwards and upwards!



< Back