My Tent Or Yours’ Champion Hurdle prep plans make him one to swerve
My Tent Or Yours’ chances of Champion Hurdle glory at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival may have receded after Nicky Henderson outlined the options for his final prep-race ahead of the jumps game’s March fiesta.
Speaking to the Racing Post his trainer confirmed that the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown or the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton were the warm-ups under consideration.
While both races are recognised as Champion Hurdle trials they have been far from prescient when it comes to highlighting horses on their way to festival glory later in the spring in recent years.
As a result My Tent Or Yours may be a slightly squeamish 7/2 shot for the 2m hurdlers championship.
At 10/3 Hurricane Fly, is fractionally shorter than the JP McManus-owned gelding, with The New One currently 3/1 favourite.
In the 1970s the Contenders Hurdle was won by subsequent champion hurdlers Lanzarote and Sea Pigeon, yet only two horses has done the double since 1990.
Binocular was one of the speedsters in question, hitting the bull’s eye on the way to a Cheltenham triumph for MTOY’s connections in 2010,with Rooster Booster the other.
The Kingwell has only marginally better as a Champion Hurdle crystal ball since 1990, with Kribensis, Alderbrook, Rooster Booster and Katchit doubling up.
Despite both races’ statuses as Champion Hurdle trials, the courses at which they’re contested are right-handed and relatively flat.
While they are galloping tracks with stiff fences they are certainly far from likely to foretell a horse’s ability to reproduce the form subsequently at Cheltenham, a left-handed, undulating track.
For My Tent Or Yours this is a particular bone of contention as there are unanswered questions about his ability to duke it out with the most stamina-packed Hurdlers at Prestbury Park.
He was sent off favourite for the Supreme Novices Hurdle last term on the back of a deeply impressive Betfair Hurdle win at Newbury, another flat galloping track.
In the final reckoning fears over his ability to reproduce his best work on undulating tracks were proved correct as Champagne Fever outstayed him.
Having required an element of fortune to narrowly pip proven festival winner The New One over Kempton’s flat, sharp track My Tent Or Yours is likely to tell us little we don’t already know at Sandown or Kempton.