Verdana Blue picks wild flowers

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Verdana Blue picks wild flowers

NICKY HENDERSON

Listed honours are up for grabs in the 32Red Wild Flower Stakes at Kempton, and this could prove a good opportunity on Wednesday for Nicky Henderson’s high-class mare Verdana Blue to pick up some valuable black type on the Flat.

This daughter of Getaway has run just once on the level, winning as she liked at Chelmsford in late September.

She has since impressed in a Listed hurdle at Kempton and won the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton before finishing fourth when favourite for the Greatwood at Cheltenham.

With the rain having finally arrived in the last week or so, this proven good-ground performer could find opportunities limited over jumps – and it looks a perfectly sensible decision to run her on the all-weather for the time being.

At Newcastle’s evening fixture, Deansgate can be relied upon as he goes in search of a third course win in the Follow SunRacing On Twitter Handicap.

The Big Bite has all the right credentials for the Watch Racing UK In Stunning HD “Introductory” Hurdle at Haydock.

The only defeat to date for Tom George’s five-year-old came in last season’s Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival – and even then, The Big Bite was beaten under 15 lengths in a hugely competitive field.

On that occasion, and in his two bumper victories as well as his winning return over hurdles at Chepstow last month, he has looked like a horse with a very decent future.

Floral Bouquet blew away any cobwebs when third at Fakenham in October and is fancied to claim second course-and-distance success at Ludlow in the Jenkinsons Caterers Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

Toast Of New York can make the most of having his sights lowered and claim what would be a hugely popular victory at Lingfield.

It is four years since Jamie Osborne’s stable star came within a nose of winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

His subsequent travails have been well documented, a tendon injury retiring him to stud before he made a Lazarus-like return from a three-year hiatus with what was a fairytale success in this very race 12 months ago.

An ambitious tilt at the Pegasus World Cup shortly after the turn of the year proved a bridge too far. But the seven-year-old was subsequently gelded, and that has seemingly had the desired effect because he has run two sound races at Graded level in America since.

A runner-up finish behind Mind The Biscuits in the Grade 3 Lukas Classic was a big step forward, and the 2200m of the Marathon on Breeders’ Cup night at Churchill Downs was always going to stretch his stamina – but he still shaped with promise to finish fourth.

It would be fanciful to suggest Toast Of New York is the force he once was. But it is clear a good portion of his considerable ability remains intact, and he has every chance of regaining the winning thread in the Betway Casino Conditions Stakes.

Silca Mistress looks the answer to the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Fillies’ Handicap.

This daughter of Dutch Art enjoyed a profitable season on the turf this year, registering successive wins at Leicester and Goodwood, as well as filling the runner-up spot on a couple of occasions.

She switched to the all-weather for only the third time in her 15-race career at this venue a fortnight ago, and knuckled down to see off hot favourite Human Nature a shade comfortably by 0.5-lergths.

With a step up from 1200m to 1400m not an issue, Silca Mistress is capable of defying a 1kg rise.- Press Association

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