Horses To Follow » Verinco


Verinco has progressed remarkably this season, rising 10lb in the weights by early June, and he was put up a further 10lb for blitzing his field at Carlisle two and a half weeks ago. He showed that that seemingly hefty hike in the handicap was not beyond him by running another cracker at York on Sunday.

Stepping up in trip from five furlongs to six, his 7lb claiming rider, who was on board for his Carlisle win, was too aggressive on him over the longer trip. The Bahamian Bounty gelding showed blinding speed and went about five lengths clear between three furlongs and two furlongs out, and he still had an advantage of about two and a half lengths entering the final furlong, but he just didn’t have enough left to hold on to the line, he was overhauled with about 100 yards to run. To his credit, he did stick on well, holding on well for third. If he could have used his energy more efficiently, he could well have been able to win this.

The winner, Internationaldebut, stays further than this six furlongs but he needs things to drop right for him to get his head in front and this race was set up perfectly for him. The second home, Parisian Pyramid, was a well supported favourite here and he is another who was well suited to the fierce pace Verinco went. Other than the front two, nothing really got into the race from behind, and while Fathsta finished strongly on the near side, he never looked like getting to Verinco, and Bryan Smart’s horse was able to keep hold of third spot quite comfortably.

On this evidence the 10lb rise Verinco received for winning at Carlisle still under-estimates him. He is in the form of his life and remains progressive even as a five-year-old. He has so much speed that it is hard not to see him proving best back at five furlongs, although he does last six furlongs. An easy six furlongs is fine for him, especially if he is ridden with more restraint. However, speed is clearly his major weapon and it seems as if this may be the best way to ride him at present, although he may not be so head-strong under a more experienced jockey. He is in the Portland at Doncaster on Saturday over five-and-a-half furlongs, and he is of interest over that trip in this form off Saturday’s mark of 93, which leaves him with just 8st 11lb on his back, just 1lb lower than the bottom weighted horse. Interestingly, Royston Ffrench takes over from Justin Newman on Saturday, and while the loss of the 7lb claim will count against him, Ffrench may be able to settle him better in front and conserve more energy for the last furlong. There will be competition for the lead if he were to take his chance on Saturday, especially if Zero Money takes his chance, but Verinco has so much speed that if anything goes faster than him then in all likelihood they would be going too fast.

4th September 2011