Verrazano set for European debut

Verrazano set for European debut
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire

Verrazano has been declared to run in the Lockinge Stakes, and has been installed by the British bookmakers as the second-favourite for the Group 1 race.
Breeding superpower Coolmore purchased an interest in two-time Grade I winner Verrazano prior to last year's Kentucky Derby, and declared that the Kentucky-bred son of More Than Ready would be retired to stand at their Ashford stud following the conclusion of the Breeders' Cup.
However, despite a fourth placed finish in the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, and a third placed finish in the GI Cigar Mile, plans were re-evaluated with Verrazano being shipped to Ireland to begin a new career in the care of Aidan O'Brien.
A straight mile contest run on turf, the GI Lockinge Stakes is run at Newbury Racecourse and was won last year by subsequent GI British Champions' Stakes winner, Farhh, and will be the first start for Verrazano under the care of O'Brien.
Joseph O'Brien has been booked to ride.
If Verrazano is to be victorious he will have to beat the heavily-favoured Olympic Glory, who was last seen finishing ninth to Wise Dan in the GI Breeders' Cup Mile.
Frankie Dettori takes the ride on Olympic Glory for the first time, with Richard Hughes booked to ride the stablemate Montiridge.
Lockinge Stakes Betting (Best Prices Available) : Olympic Glory Evens, Verrazano 5-1, Tullius 8-1, Montiridge 9-1, Chopin 12-1, Top Notch Tonto 14-1, Sruthan 20-1, Empire Storm 100-1

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