Dunlop: ‘Red Verdon was touch-and-go for St Leger race’
Red Verdon was pulled out of Saturday’s St Leger by Connections after failing to impress during a racecourse gallop yesterday morning.
The horse trained by Ed Dunlop, who was to be ridden by James Doyle, finished sixth in the Derby, fourth in the Irish Derby and second in the Grand Prix de Paris.
The La Grange Stables handler had told Racing UK on Monday the horses participation had been ‘touch and go — we have had one or two health issues like most of Newmarket.’
Ed Dunlop Racing tweeted yesterday lunchtime: ‘Sadly Red Verdon won’t be running in the St Leger on Saturday. We were not happy enough with him after his blow out this morning.’
It does not put paid toDunlop’s participation this weekend as he still has Trip to Paris — only one of two British entries remaining — entered in Sunday’s Irish St Leger at the Curragh, but the horse could take his chance in tomorrow’s Doncaster Cup.
The 2015 Gold Cup winner at Royal Ascot was fourth last time out in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup at York. Also eyeing St Leger glory on Town Moor will be John Gosden’s Muntahaa, who is owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.
Muntahaa was an impressive winner at Chester on his last outing for Gosden, who withdrew Wings of Desire from the race at the penultimate forfeit stage.
Dave Simcock’s Algometer, who was seventh in this year’s Derby, is also another notable absentee.
Today, Sir Michael Stoute’s Abingdon will line-up in the DFS Park Hill Stakes where he will lock horns with last season’s eventual St Leger winner Simple Verse.
This filly has made eye-catching progress in Listed company, most recently winning the Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes at York in August.
Stoute has an excellent record in the race, regarded as the Fillies’ St Leger, with both Hi Calypso and Allegretto tasting success for the trainer in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Andrea Atzeni will retain the ride from York.
Sir Mark Prescott will bid to hold on to his Doncaster Cup crown tomorrow with prolific handicapper St Michel.
The Heath House handler won the race last season with Pallasator.
Prescott’s three-year-old will be receiving a hefty weight-for-age allowance from his elders over the stamina-sapping 2m2f trip.
n Last weekend, Lady Aurelia, the brilliant unbeaten juvenile filly trained in America by Wesley Ward, took part in a gallop on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse.
Partnered by her regular race rider Frankie Dettori, the horse was preparing for the Group 1 Connolly’s RED MILLS Cheveley Park Stakes on September 24.
Lady Aurelia shot to fame with an incredible seven-length demolition of the Queen Mary Stakes field at Royal Ascot in June.
The daughter of Scat Daddy worked over half-a-mile, starting at the five-furlong marker.
After returning to America, she came back to Europe to land the Group 1 Prix Morny in France last month and has been stabled at Racing Headquarters since.