A great card at Ayr and the very best of luck to our friends Harry and Phil with Bigmartre who could well jump them silly in the big Grade 2 novice chase.
For our nap we return to a mare we firmly believe is capable of a lot more than she has shown yet.
Nicky Henderson’s Verdana Blue works like a top horse at home and was all set to contest the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham until the rain set in. The mud doesn’t suit as she showed at Newbury last time when travelling into contention smoothly only to fizzle out over the last half mile.
Her career has been one of nearly’s – she doesn’t quite stay the 2m4f of the top mares’ races and she doesn’t quite handle soft ground in mid winter.
As such connections and supporters have had to be really patient waiting for a sharp two miles on good ground with a strong pace from the start. Finally we have ticks in all those boxes.
Jockey James Bowen claims a very useful 3lbs and we can expect the best from Verdana.
The strength in depth of the field is the only mitigation against going the maximum 3pts and we will dial it back to just the 2pts.
Recommendation: Verdana Blue, (1455 Ayr), 2pts win, 11/2 generally available
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