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Dark Red in Dubai

Thu 03 January 2019

Although Red Verdon’s trip to Australia and Hong Kong did not go as planned, Ed Dunlop’s appetite for international competition remains as strong as ever.

La Grange Stables’ next objective is the Dubai Carnival, to which the Boss has sent over the redoubtable Dark Red. Although now seven years of age, he demonstrated on several occasions last season that he remains either at or very near the peak of his powers and Tom McLaughlin, who is supervising the trip in Dubai, reports the horse to be in tremendous nick.

In a long career, this is only the second time that Dark Red has gone abroad to race, and on the previous occasion he only went as far as The Curragh. Although that mission didn’t go to plan, the horse has proven time and again during a 31-race career (comprising four victories and 21 other top-four finishes) that he is talented, tough and extremely genuine. He has been on an enforced break since running down the field at Glorious Goodwood back in August but is over all issues now.

Ideally suited by good ground and a mile and a quarter, we hope that he will get ideal conditions in Meydan, and that the sunnier climate and recent absence will allow him to resume racing in the best possible shape.

His programme rather maps itself out, with the first objective being a ten-furlong 95-105 handicap on 17 January. Given that his rating is 101, he ought to fit in very nicely to that contest, and there will be similar races on January 31 and February 28 that ought to suit him ideally too.

Over the years Dark Red has won valuable contests at York, Chester’s May Meeting, finished first past the post at Glorious Goodwood, third in the Balmoral and achieved plenty more besides. He was seventh in the 2018 Lincoln prior to running into the money four times in a row, including twice running to a career high Racing Post Rating of 108 – his only disappointment coming in the aforementioned Goodwood race in early August – so there is no reason to believe he cannot match or eclipse those efforts this term. He has been given a full MOT since Goodwood and looks a million dollars. Hopefully he can back up that view by winning some money over in Dubai!

Everyone at the yard wishes the best of luck to Dark Red and the team on the ground.

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