Early start for My Tent Or Yours on return to winning track
My Tent Or Yours (near) and Hargam go to Kempton on Sunday
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos) Early start for Tent on
return to winning track By Jon Lees 7:18AM 16 OCT 2016
MY TENT OR YOURS makes his earliest start to a jumps campaign on Sunday when Nicky Henderson hopes to get the leading hurdler back into the winner's enclosure for the first time since February 2014 in the Better Odds With Betfair Exchange Hurdle (4.10).
Last season's Champion Hurdle runner-up begins at Kempton, the track where he gained his last two victories, including in the 2013 Christmas Hurdle, in the race The New One has harvested for the last three years.
With the ground good to firm the trainer will check conditions beforehand, but he expects My Tent Of Yours to join fellow JP McManus-owned stablemate Hargam in the field for this Listed contest.
Henderson said: "The intention is to run them both. My Tent Or Yours likes good ground and he doesn't like soft ground, so the plan was to start early with him. He's in very good form."
My Tent Or Yours finished second to Annie Power at both Cheltenham and Aintree before finishing third at Punchestown behind another mare, Vroum Vroum Mag.
Hargam was tenth in the Champion Hurdle and third at Tipperary in this month's Istabraq Hurdle.
"You have to crack on because after this race there's a huge gap before anything else happens for these horses," Henderson said. "Hargam takes a lot of hard work. He needed the run very badly in Ireland and it was very soft. He'll be much happier on this ground."
'Fit to start'
My Tent Or Yours and Hargam are the first and second highest-rated horses in the field and also receive weight from their opponents, the best of whom, Court Minstrel, likewise makes his seasonal debut.
Trainer Evan Williams said: "This looked a nice place to start. We've finished in front of My Tent Or Yours in a handicap before. It's whoever is ready on the day, fitness will have a massive part to play in the race and Court Minstrel is fit to start.
"He's been a smashing horse to us. It doesn't matter how quick it is, he'll enjoy it. I'm hoping for a clear round and will worry about everything else after that."
Mister Miyagi has won three out of four over hurdles, his only defeat coming in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, in which he was sixth.
Trainer Dan Skelton said: "This race may just blow the cobwebs off. I'd like to move him up in trip after this."
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