King keen to see if Yanworth has the speed for Champion

Yanworth - Barry Geraghty winner

Yanworth: drops in trip for Christmas Hurdle

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

 By James Burn 7:37AM 26 DEC 2016 

UNOWHATIMEANHARRY’S rise to prominence in the staying hurdle division has meant a shift of targets for Yanworth, who is the shortest-priced of today’s runners for the Stan James Champion Hurdle in March. 

The JP McManus-owned six-year-old had started the season with the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle high on his agenda, but is now the general 8-1 third favourite for the Champion.


Like many, trainer Alan King is keen to see how effective his stable star – who won the 2m3½f Coral Hurdle on his latest start – is over a shorter trip.  

“He’s good,” said King. “He schooled on Monday morning and seems in very good form. I don’t think we’re going to get as much rain as I’d have liked at Kempton. It doesn’t seem like they’re going to get much at all and I’d have like the ground softer, but we can’t change that.”

Barry Geraghty, who could have partnered McManus’s other runner My Tent Or Yours, takes the ride.

“As far as I know Barry was always going to ride Yanworth,” added King. “You’d say Kempton wouldn’t be my first choice of tracks, but it fits in with everything at the moment. “You have to think he’d be a better horse on a stiffer track, but we have to get a run into him. It’ll be interesting.”

Tent pitches up again 

My Tent Or Yours provided Nicky Henderson with one of his six wins in this race in 2013 and conditions should suit. He renews rivalry with The New One, whom he beat in this three years ago but was no match for in the International at Cheltenham last time.

“The ground is everything to him and he’s in good form and came out of Cheltenham very well, so we’re giving it a go,” said Henderson. “It’s much the same race but we’re worse off at the weights.

“There is plenty to say we can’t beat The New One, but My Tent Or Yours might have come on a bit from Cheltenham and if the rain stays away he’s getting his good ground for the first time in a while.”

There was no change to the going on Monday morning, with conditions remaining good, good to soft in places.

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