Henderson eyeing Flat campaign with Verdana Blue

Trainer could look to Ascot with Grade One-winning hurdler.

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Nicky Henderson could explore options on the Flat during the summer with his smart mare Verdana Blue.

Winner of the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton in 2018, when upsetting Buveur D’Air, she has not been seen since finishing fourth to another stablemate, Epatante, in the latest running of the Grade One showpiece on Boxing Day.

Henderson told his Unibet blog: “Most of the winter squad are already on their holidays which is about three weeks earlier than normal so it’s pretty quiet around the yard, but we have a few still in training ready to go if jump racing resumes in July.

“Verdana Blue looks fantastic and she will probably race on the Flat during the summer. I have to speak to her owners, but the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot could be a possibility as I’d imagine she’d stay the trip as she’s a proper National Hunt mare, but everything is obviously very much up in the air where Ascot is concerned.

“There are quite a few options for her and I wouldn’t even rule out dropping her right down in distance and having a crack at the Ebor at York in August.”

Henderson also had news of Brain Power, who could also have a run on the level.

He added: “Brain Power is also doing very well and the plan is to take him back to America for a race in August, so it wouldn’t do him any harm to have a spin on the Flat beforehand to blow the cobwebs away.”

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