162-rated My Tent Or Yours recalls memories of Cue Card’s loss in 2010
My Tent Or Yours’ handicap mark of 162 would see him competitive in many Champion Hurdles yet connections have understandably opted for the easier route in the Supreme, in which he’ll prove hard to beat. Dodging Bullets, next highest on BHA ratings, looks the value.
My Tent Or Yours is rated 20lbs or more better than four of the last five Supreme Novices winners and it’s testament to the race’s reputation as a favourite’s graveyard that such a classy animal is above odds on.
A novice hurdler has to post a serious performance to cause the media to suggest they should bypass the Festival’s novice races for the Champion Hurdle and that’s exactly what MTOY did in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury – giving 145 rated Cotton Mill 7lbs and a five length beating.
Cue Card’s second to the previous Spring’s Supreme Novices winner Menorah in the 2010 International Hurdle was similar a performance, drawing similar Champion Hurdle quotes and like MTOY his connections opted to go down the novice route at Festival.
His fate offers a word of warning to those thinking MTOY is unbeatable as Cue Card was beaten in the Supreme having been rated 160.
The slow pace on for much of the Betfair Hurdle may have suggested that a stronger gallop at the Festival could see the JP McManus-owned flyer unable to reproduce the effortless acceleration seen at Newbury, but ominously for his foes trainer Nicky Henderson suggested his charge would settle better under a stronger pace.
Henderson’s trainer’s title rival Paul Nicholls looks after Dodging Bullets, who he believes to be “the forgotten horse” of the Supreme.
Fourth in the Triumph Hurdle at last year’s Festival and third to Darlan in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle, his has not been the textbook Supreme Novices prep, but in the latter race 159-rated Get Me Out Of Here (who would’ve taken the 2010 Supreme if the race had been 10 yards longer) was pulled up behind him, whilst last year’s Supreme winner Cinders and Ashes was 5 lengths back in fifth.
The two-time course and distance winner looks rather worldly for a novice and it’s likely he’ll be piloted by Ruby Walsh, top jockey at six of the last nine festivals – a boon to any horse’s chances.