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Saturday 18th May

Sat 18 May 2019

Red Verdon

Good morning. A fantastic day of racing is in store, with several interesting meetings taking place. It will be a relatively quiet afternoon for La Grange with just one runner, but when the horse in question is Red Verdon the day inevitably takes on an extra layer of significance.

Verdon runs in the Gr.3 Aston Park Stakes over a mile and a half at Newbury at 2.25, and he has the formidable Crystal Ocean standing in his way. Clearly we are highly unlikely to beat Sir Michael Stoute’s superstar, but there should be a keen race on for second place.

Verdon was dropped to a mark of 108 following his latest run at Newmarket, where he disappointed somewhat by finishing only fifth in the Gr.2 Jockey Club Stakes. He had been second in the race a year before, but on this occasion he was disadvantaged by a slow pace and good tactical ride by Silvestre de Sousa out in front. We must not forget that on his previous run at Doncaster he was a ready winner, whilst last summer in the Hardwicke Stakes he chased home Crystal Ocean and finished a terrific two-and-a-half length second.

That sort of form puts him right in the mix for the places, and I am hopeful that we will see a better performance than at Newmarket a few weeks ago. He has never run at Newbury previously, but the trip, track and ground should all hold no fears. We are obviously travelling with limited expectations given the outstanding quality of the favourite, but I am still very much looking forward to a good run from our flagbearer.


All the best,

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