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Let's raise a glass to Toast of New York.

TOAST OF NEW YORK can make the most of having his sights lowered and claim what would be a hugely popular victory at Lingfield. It is four years since Jamie Osborne's stable star came within a nose of winning the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

His subsequent travails have been well documented, a tendon injury retiring him to stud before he made a Lazarus-like return from a three-year hiatus with what was a fairytale success in this very race 12 months ago.

An ambitious tilt at the Pegasus World Cup shortly after the turn of the year proved a bridge too far. But the seven-year-old was subsequently gelded, and that has seemingly had the desired effect because he has run two sound races at Graded level in America since. A runner-up finish behind Mind The Biscuits in the Grade Three Lukas Classic was a big step forward, and the mile and six furlongs of the Marathon on Breeders' Cup night at Churchill Downs was always going to stretch his stamina - but he still shaped with promise to finish fourth.

It would be fanciful to suggest Toast Of New York is the force he once was. But it is clear a good portion of his considerable ability remains intact, and he has every chance of regaining the winning thread in the Betway Casino Conditions Stakes.

Silca Mistress looks the answer to the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Fillies' Handicap.

The daughter of Dutch Art enjoyed a profitable season on the turf this year, registering successive wins at Leicester and Goodwood, as well as filling the runner-up spot on a couple of occasions.

She switched to the allweather for only the third time in her 15-race career at this venue a fortnight ago, and knuckled down to see off hot favourite Human Nature a shade comfortably by half a length.

With a step up from six to seven furlongs not an issue, Silca Mistress is capable of defying a 2lb rise.

Listed honours are up for grabs in the 32Red Wild Flower Stakes at Kempton, and this could prove a good opportunity for Nicky Henderson's high-class mare Verdana Blue to pick up some valuable black type on the Flat.

The daughter of Getaway has run just once on the level, winning as she liked at Chelmsford in late September.

She has since impressed in a Listed hurdle at Kempton and won the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton before finishing fourth when favourite for the Greatwood at Cheltenham.

With the rain having finally arrived in the last week or so, this proven good-ground performer could find opportunities limited over jumps - and it looks a perfectly sensible decision to run her on the all-weather for the time being.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 5, 2018
Words:455
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