Group Two glory for Red Verdon at ParisLongchamp

Dunlop stalwart strikes under Dettori.

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Ed Dunlop placed Red Verdon expertly to allow the seven-year-old to win the first Group Two of his career in the Prix Maurice de Nieuil at ParisLongchamp.

Always a classy operator, he finished sixth of 16 behind Harzand in the 2016 Derby and has more than paid his way since.

He has twice been Australia to run in the Melbourne Cup but never made the actual race, while he has run in the Hong Kong Vase, too.

Arguably his career-highlight was when second in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on Bastille Day four years ago and once again on July 14 the stars aligned for him to put up a big performance.

Despite having the 35th outing of his career, Frankie Dettori was in the saddle for the first time and always looked confident, taking over from Holdthasisgreen and holding Called To The Bar at bay by a length and a quarter.

“We were concerned about the pace and Ed left it up to me,” Dettori told Sky Sports Racing.

“I spoke to Robin (Trevor-Jones, travelling head lad) and he said for an old boy he can quicken so I was the first one to commit and he responded and never saw another horse.

“Ed does really well with these kind of horses. The longevity is amazing and he keeps on bringing them back and producing this kind of performance. It was a nice win.”

Charlie Appleby and William Buick were back in France to win the Prix du Lys with the progressive Volkan Star.

The duo enjoyed a treble at Deauville on Sunday, highlighted by Pinatubo in the Prix Jean Prat, and improved their strike-rate on their cross-Channel raids.

Volkan Star held obvious claims in the Group Three affair on paper, having finished second to subsequent French Derby winner Mishriff and beaten Mark Johnston’s Dante hero Thunderous in his two starts to date this year.

Buick set a steady tempo before winding up the pace in the false straight, stealing an advantage he was never to relinquish, despite Ketil closing to within three-quarters of a length.

“I’m pleased. We were coming here with some confidence with the form lines back home, so we were hopeful because of that form and also that stepping up in trip might bring out more improvement,” said Appleby.

“He’s growing up all the time. I’m delighted I brought him over here because he’s a horse that we gelded for a reason, he didn’t have his mind on the job but since being gelded he’s turned inside out.

“I was keen to bring him here to educate him for further down the line.

“It was the plan to make it and he found a bit more when they came to him. We haven’t set our sights on anything more just yet. William says to keep to a mile and a half for now so maybe we can set our sights a bit higher.”

David Simcock’s Oriental Mystique almost stole the Prix de Malleret under a clever ride from Mickael Barzalona but was caught late on by Vaucelles.

Frankie Dettori set out to make all on Ralph Beckett’s Trefoil, but Barzalona made a bold move three furlongs out and caught the others napping.

For a few strides it looked like Barzalona may have nicked it, only for Pascal Bary’s filly to quicken up smartly for Christophe Soumillon and win cosily in the end.

Bary said: “She’s a very nice filly, she ran very well in the Prix Saint-Alary but she only started six weeks ago so I think she’ll improve again.

“She’s a tall filly and needs time to fill out. I think she’ll be very good in September and October.

“She’s in the Arc, but first she will go for the Prix Vermeille. I was pleased with her turn of foot.”

Group Two glory for Red Verdon at ParisLongchamp
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