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Verdane takes Evans past milestone

Wed, 27 June 2012

David Evans trained the 1000th Flat winner of his career on Tuesday and quickly moved past the milestone with a promising winner at Salisbury.

Newcomer and 50-1 shot Verdane raced past Echione close home in division two of the Begbies Traynor Group Maiden Stakes, and had so much enthusiasm he hurdled the line under James Doyle.

The larger-than-life Evans, who has saddled many more over hurdles and fences, did not make a special occasion of the milestone although he was proud of the achievement.

Speaking from his stables near Abergavenny, he said: "I've celebrated enough most days so we didn't do anything, and it crept up on me a bit, but it shows how far we've come with the class of horses we get.

"I think Verdane is a really nice sort. I didn't expect him to win but he'd been showing a bit at home. We've not got as many two-year-olds this year and I expect we'll get all sorts of offers for him, but the owner would only sell at the right price."

Ralph Beckett's Riot of Colour (8-11 favourite) proved she had been unlucky rather than ungenuine to have finished second on all her four previous starts when going a place better in the Smith & Williamson Maiden Fillies' Stakes.

After she repelled Dulkova by three-quarters of a length, Beckett said: "It had been a bit frustrating, sometimes when they have finished second that many times you start to wonder whether it is ever going to happen but it was good to see her do it. She'll probably run in a seven-furlong fillies' handicap at the Newmarket July meeting now."

Division one of Verdane's maiden looked the stronger event on paper, including the 8-13 favourite Ask Dad, who was a respectable sixth in last week's Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Richard Hannon's colt was mature enough to get the job done, although he was pushed all the way by the unraced Ashaadd, who finished just a neck adrift.

Hannon, Hughes and owner Andrew Tinkler were on the mark again in the Ashbrittle Stud Bibury Cup. Rye House was attempting to uphold family honour, with the 6-5 favourite's half-sister Hi Calypso taking the same race five years ago, but he began to tread water in front and was passed close home by recent Sandown maiden winner Rule Book (13-2).