Newmarket handler Ed Dunlop is looking forward to running Red Verdon in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships over two miles on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, March 30.
The five-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid, owned by former Hong Kong Jockey Club Chairman Ronald Arculli, boasts some very smart form on turf, finishing sixth in the G1 Investec Derby at Epsom Downs, fourth in the G1 Irish Derby and runner-up in the G1 Grand Prix de Paris as a three-year-old in 2016.
Red Verdon has won on two of his three starts during this All-Weather Championships, which started at the end of October.
After finishing runner-up in the Listed 32Red Floodlit Stakes over a mile and a half on Polytrack at Kempton Park on November 6, he went on to record a half-length success over subsequent G3 Betway Winter Derby winner Master The World in the Listed 32Red Wild Flower Stakes over the same course and distance on November 29.
On his most recent outing, Red Verdon was the comfortable three-length winner of the Betway Conditions Race over a mile and a half on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on February 14.
Dunlop said today: “At this stage, the Marathon on Good Friday is the aim for Red Verdon.
“All is good with the horse at the moment and we are very happy with him. He worked yesterday and, fingers crossed, we will be at Lingfield with him next week.”
The Lingfield contest will be Red Verdon’s first attempt at two miles, with the horse never having run beyond an extended 13 furlongs.
Dunlop continued: “You can never be sure a horse is going to stay until you try, but Red Verdon has a good temperament, which will give him the chance to stay the extra distance in the Marathon.”
Other likely starters for the Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships include last year’s runner-up Watersmeet (Mark Johnston), who has landed a pair of Fast-Track Qualifiers at Wolverhampton and Kempton Park during the current campaign, plus Mountain Bell (Ralph Beckett), who had Watersmeet back in third when taking a Fast-Track Qualifier at Newcastle in December.
French interest is set to come from Funny Kid (Chrtistophe Ferland), the neck runner-up to Watersmeet at Wolverhampton.
Entries for the six championship races on Good Friday, plus the £50,000 Sunbets All-Weather Championships Apprentice Handicap, will be revealed this Saturday afternoon, March 24.