2016 Coral Hurdle tips: Yanworth holds all the aces at Ascot
Yanworth odds the clear choice for Coral Hurdle tips
Yanworth looks a worthy favourite to make a winning return to action the the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle on a cracking seven-race card at Ascot on Saturday (14:40).
The Alan King trained gelding had some top form to his name in bumpers, including when fourth to Moon Racer at the Cheltenham Festival, and won his first four starts over the obstacles last season in facile fashion.
In the last of those on Festival Trials day at Cheltenham, Yanworth took the step up into Grade 2 company in his stride when sauntering to a seven-length success over the highly-regarded Shantou Village.
After being held-up in the early stages by jockey Barry Geraghty, Yanworth scythed through the field without being asked any sort of question.
As Shantou Village kicked home approaching the last, Geraghty sat motionless on the JP McManus owned six-year-old and oozed confidence.
Awesome display followed by cracking effort in Neptune
It was then just a case of what Yanworth would find when he pushed the button, and the answer was plenty as he quickened clear instantly when asked on the run-in to win without extending himself.
It was an awesome display and Yanworth went on to round off the campaign with a fine 1 3/4 length second to Yorkhill in the Grade 1 Neptune Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, where he was forced wide to challenge and made a couple of costly errors.
Judged on that effort, Yanworth looks an exciting prospect for this season and a possible contender for the 2017 Champion Hurdle, for which he is currently 14/1 with Coral.
Main danger comes from Zarkandar
Zarkandar is a tough and consistent sort who looks the obvious danger to Yanworth. Trained by Paul Nicholls, the nine-year-old has won nine of his 25 starts over hurdles and they include four successes in Grade 1 company.
He has also posted a series of solid efforts in defeat, including when a two-length runner-up to Annie Power in the 2012 running of this contest and a fine third to Cole Harden in the World Hurdle at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival.
That is form of the highest order. Zarkandar was still travelling powerfully and yet to be asked a serious question when coming to grief at the final flight on his seasonal reappearance at Aintree.
If none the worse for that tumble, the gelding looks sure to play a major role in this and given Yanworth plenty to think about.
Coral’s top tip: Yanworth was one of last season’s best novices, so rates a solid bet to land a fascinating renewal of the Coral Hurdle en route to a possible tilt at the Champion Hurdle.