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Saturday 4th May

Sat 04 May 2019

Red Verdon

Good morning from Newmarket. We have endured a trying time of things this week, with several bitterly disappointing performances from our horses, but it is Guineas weekend so we mustn’t grumble but instead look forward to a cracking couple of days racing!

Although we aren’t represented in the Classics, we do have a couple of exciting runners at Newmarket this afternoon, kicking off with Red Verdon in the Gr.2 Jockey Club Stakes at 2.55. He was second in the race last season, behind the re-opposing Defoe, before going on to produce a string of good placed efforts in pattern company. He had some well documented troubles on his travels to Australia and Hong Kong towards the end of last year, but returned to action with a stylish success in a conditions race at Doncaster in March.

That victory came on the occasion of his first run since a gelding operation, and set him up for a return to higher class. I would like to think he has improved for the operation, and we saw no sign to the contrary at Doncaster, but he really will need to be better than ever if he is to get in amongst the principals this afternoon. Despite there only being seven runners, we are priced up as a big outsider, and the faint hope earlier in the week that genuinely fast ground might compromise the chances of Defoe and Young Rascal has probably disappeared with the rain that fell overnight.  This is a very stiff assignment.

However, Red Verdon is in great form, ready to run for his life and I am hoping for a very good showing. Fingers crossed he will do us proud as he usually does.

Ironically, having wanted conditions to remain dry for Red Verdon, it was absolutely essential that we got some rainfall for our other runner Global Warning! Although we did see a few millimetres overnight, whether it has got into the ground enough for him to take his chance in the mile 0-105 handicap at 5.20 remains to be seen. 

A promising son of Poet’s Voice, whose siblings include The Tin Man and Deacon Blues, he got off the mark with an impressive victory at Newcastle 15 days ago on handicap debut. That was a striking success, though it is worth remembering that he was an improving three-year-old getting lots of weight from exposed older handicappers. Today’s test will be a different kettle of fish entirely, and the handicapper inevitably had his say by whacking Warning up nine pounds for his efforts. He looked ready for the step up to a mile last time out, and if I do let him take his chance then I expect we will learn an awful lot more about what sort of horse we have.

Enjoy the sport today, all the best.


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