Christmas Hurdle hope Verdana Blue purchased by Michael Tabor for 370,000gns

Tue 3 Dec 2019

Verdana Blue will return to Nicky Henderson’s Seven Barrows yard in Lambourn after being bought by Michael Tabor at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale.

Winner of the Christmas Hurdle – when she inflicted a first defeat in 12 on stablemate Buveur D’Air – she was also successful in the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr.

Bogged down by soft ground at Cheltenham in March, she also showed she is no back number on the Flat when fourth in the Sagaro Stakes behind Dee Ex Bee.

Tom Goff did the bidding on behalf of Tabor and after seeing off Anthony Bromley in the ring at 370,000 guineas, he told “She is the most beautiful National Hunt mare I have seen in years.

“She is for Michael Tabor and will be going back into training with Nicky Henderson.

“She is by Getaway, who is doing so well as a NH sire, and she will be targeted now at the Christmas Hurdle.

“What happens after and whether she goes to Cheltenham will depend on her run at Kempton, but she obviously will be a fabulous broodmare for the future.”

Tabor, while best known as part of the powerful Coolmore triumvirate with John Magnier and Derrick Smith, is no stranger to National Hunt racing.

His Royal Derbi, trained by Neville Callaghan, won the AIG Europe Champion Hurdle in 1993 and went on to finish second to Granville Again in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

He has also tasted Grade One success with Jonjo O’Neill’s Refinement.

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