Epsom Derby Trial day April 20 review: Dark Red delivers for Ed Dunlop
Last Updated: 20/04/16 6:24pm
News from the rest of Wednesday's Investec Derby Trial card at Epsom, where Dark Red won the City And Suburban Stakes.
Dark Red continued his upward curve since undergoing a gelding operation with a battling success in the Investec City And Suburban Stakes.
Having got off the mark at the seventh time of asking last time at Chelmsford in March, the Ed Dunlop-trained four-year-old struck again in the mile-and-a-half event after surviving a stewards' enquiry. .
The 12/1 shot knuckled down well under Franny Norton to keep at bay the late challenge thrown down by joint-favourite Pacify to claim victory by three-quarters of a length.
Dunlop said: "He travelled well and he is a horse we always thought a lot off.
"We gelded him as he was quite colty and that has been the making of him.
"Ryan Moore won him at Chelmsford City and I know we were running out of the weights but it is such a valuable and prestigious race."
Normal Equilibrium scored for the first time in more than a year when finding plenty from the sharp end to land the Investec Asset Finance Handicap.
Having been kept busy on the all-weather throughout the winter months, the six-year-old made his first start on the turf this season a winning one in the five-furlong dash.
After having mastered last year's winner Monumental Man in the battle for the lead, the Robert Cowell-trained 4/1 shot found plenty when challenged by Duke Of Firenze before going on to score by a length from Roudee (7/4 fav).
Winning rider Andrea Atzeni said: "Rob Cowell told me to jump off and try grab the rail if I could, but David Probert (Monumental Man) was a bit quicker than me.
"He travelled good and he picked up well when I asked him to.
"What I liked is when the second horse came at me and I gave him a back-hander he found another gear."
Barwick made his debut for trainer George Baker a winning one when staying on resolutely to take the Investec Corporate Baking Great Metropolitan Handicap.
Although he looked to face a tall order entering the home straight, the evergreen eight-year-old gathered a good head of steam under Steve Drowne to go two places better than in last year's renewal, when trained by Ian Williams.
The race looked set to be straight battle between Whinging Willie and Prendergast Hill entering the concluding stages, but the pair were passed by the 16/1 shot deep inside the final furlong, with a length and a half the winning distance.
Baker said: "It is his first run for me and I'm not going to improve him from Ian Williams, who is a great mate of mine.
"It is just the classic change-of-scenery situation.
"He always runs well fresh but hopefully he can go on from that.
"Steve (Drowne) said he had a lot to do turning for home but he travelled well and the horse picked up down the hill.
"Steve said he would go a bit further so that gives us plenty of options."
Paul Henderson missed out on witnessing his first winner at the track when Medburn Dream (9/2) defied a 6lb penalty to complete Norton's double with a four-and-a-half-length success in the Investec Private Banking Handicap.
Henderson's partner Jane Patten said: "Paul is up at the Doncaster Sales looking at two-year-olds.
"The plan was to jump out and make it a test of stamina for everyone else."
Ignoring instructions at the sales turned out to be a wise move by Philip Martin, co-owner of Finelcity, after the 9/1 shot gifted trainer Harry Dunlop his first winner at the course in the Investec Specialist Cash Products Maiden Stakes.
Martin, who is part of the Blue Bar Partnership, said: "We went to the sales in Baden-Baden to sell a horse and we were told not to come back with the box full.
"We had an Elusive City before and we did bid on another one but didn't get it. We decided that this one was too good an opportunity not to buy.
"He has given us a bit of fun and he might be all right."