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Verdana has Champion Hurdle option

Verdana Blue (right) beating Buveur D'airVerdana Blue (right) beating Buveur D'air
© Photo Healy Racing

Nicky Henderson is debating whether Christmas Hurdle winner Verdana Blue can take in a crack at the Champion Hurdle on her way to the Melbourne Cup.

The mare shocked dual champion and stablemate Buveur D’Air at Kempton on Boxing Day — a performance which surprised her trainer.

She had finished second in a Listed race on the all-weather prior to that and Lingfield on Good Friday had been the plan with a Flat campaign in mind.

“She’s owned by a very enthusiastic group of people who absolutely love the sport and they are very keen to take her to Flemington for the Melbourne Cup in November.” Henderson told his Unibet blog.

“But more closer to home, Luke Morris suggested the Stayers’ race on All Weather Finals day on Good Friday, but we have to get another run into her to get a handicap mark and there is a Fast Track Qualifier in February so we may have to go there, but you’d think winning a Grade One hurdle would be enough to get her a mark for the all weather!

“The owners are definitely keen to have a crack at the Champion Hurdle, but I’m not sure if she will be able to do both and you have to be rated 110-plus to go to Melbourne, so I have my mind fully occupied with her at the moment.”