Three Weekend Eyecatchers - 15/04/2019

1. Verdana Blue

Back on good ground, Verdana Blue proved her sharp turn of foot really is one to be reckoned with under young Connor Brace in the Scottish Champion Hurdle.

One of two in the race for current Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson after Mister Fisher was confirmed as a non-runner beforehand, the seven-year-old mare who beat dual Champion Hurdler Buveur D'Air on this surface back in December, absolutely blitzed the field up the run-in.

The race unfolded into a bit like a five furlong sprint; she picked up best of all, and was mightily impressive after jumping the last and was certainly not for catching.

Despite heavily dependent on the going, she really is a testament to the efforts at Seven Burrows this season. It may not be a Championship winning campaign for Henderson, but Verdana Blue has certainly provided him and his team with plenty of memorable days this term.

2. Secret Investor

The Paul Nicholls-trained Secret Investor followed up his scintillating display at Wincanton, in the Grade Two Future Champion Novices Chase, continuing his trainer's fine record in the contest to date.

A positive season for the seven-year-old was completed with a fine round of jumping round Ayr's tight turns, holding of the challenges of Louis Vac Pouch and the consistent Monbeg Legend.

His third victory of the season has seen him bounce back from disappointments over the winter, when he was beaten by two very useful rivals in three different contests.

He brushed off a small leg injury to win smartly around the Somerset venue last time out which would have certainly lifted his spirits, and appears to be very competent over two-miles now after his latest triumph.

3. Eritage

Eritage completed a fine weekend for Paul Nicholls, as he draws every closer to that illusive eleventh Trainers Championship.

The five-year-old was making just his second start for the Ditcheat man after making his debut at Exeter back in February.

He certainly has improved from the initial run, which saw him well beaten by Harry Fry's Get In The Queue, who already looks to be a novice hurdler on the rise for next season.

Clearcut winner of his sole start in France on the flat, Eritage made all under Lorcan Williams - who ran riot at Fontwell on Friday with a hat trick.

Williams kept his mount up to his work deep inside the final furlong having made all, and just held on from Alan King's Perfect Predator - who was almost just that.

Win is still a win, and it was a good one.

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