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Red Verdon among 25 left in Leger

24 Aug 2016

Ed Dunlop admits his colt will have to improve if he is to beat hot favourite Idaho

Red Verdon, who finished sixth in the Derby at Epsom, will contest the Ladbrokes St Leger. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Red Verdon remains on course for the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster on September 10.

The Ed Dunlop-trained colt was today revealed as being among 25 confirmations for the final British Classic of the season, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Red Verdon, 10/1 with the sponsor, has progressed from handicap victories at Chester and Haydock Park in May to finishing second last time out in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris at Saint-Cloud.

The son of Lemon Drop Kid colt, owned by Hong Kong-based Ronnie Arculli, had previously finished sixth in the Investec Derby at Epsom and stayed on stoutly to take fourth in the Irish Derby.

“Red Verdon has had a good break since France,” Dunlop said. “We decided to miss York and, all being well, the plan is to go to Doncaster.

“There is obviously a short-priced favourite [Idaho] who was very impressive at York. We will have to improve to beat him for sure but we will give it a go.

“I don’t know about the step up in trip. His pedigree doesn’t scream that he will stay but he has been finishing strongly over a mile and a half. He also relaxes well in his races and that will give him every chance of getting the trip.”

Trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien, Idaho is the 11/10 market leader with Ladbrokes after a fluent victory over stablemate Housesofparliament (14/1) in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.

Idaho had previously finished a half-length second to Harzand in the Irish Derby, having finished third to him in the English renewal at Epsom.

O’Brien, seeking a fifth Ladbrokes St Leger victory, has a ten-strong team.

John Gosden has an excellent record in the Doncaster Classic, winning three of the last nine renewals and four in all, and has two strong contenders in Muntahaa and Wings Of Desire.

Ladbrokes St Leger – the sponsor bets: 11/10 Idaho; 10/1 Muntahaa, Red Verdon; 14/1 Housesofparliament, Sword Fighter, Wings Of Desire; 16/1 Algometer; 20/1 Twilight Payment; 33/1 Ormito, Robin Of Navan, Somehow, Ventura Storm; 40/1 Harbour Law, Marmelo, Pretty Perfect, The Major General; 50/1 Arya Tara, Harrison, Kellstorm; 66/1 Cook Islands, Goldmember, Knights Table, Triplicate, Unicorn; 100/1 The Tartan Spartan