Verdana Blue pulled off one of the shocks of the Christmas period with a brilliant run to defeat Buveur D’Air in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park. Nicky Henderson’s charge beat her stable-mate and dual Champion Hurdle winner by a fraction on the line and in the process propelled herself into the Champion Hurdle picture.
Gordon Elliott insists a tilt at the Champion Hurdle remains “very doubtful” for Apple’s Jade — despite confirming his star mare an intended runner in the Irish equivalent at Leopardstown next month.
Shattered Love will sidestep the Unibet Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown and instead head straight to the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
Sir Erec is on course to return to Leopardstown for the Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle on February 3.