My Tent out to make the most of ‘golden opportunity’
My Tent Or Yours – Kempton 26.12.13
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos) My Tent out to capitalise on 'golden opportunity' By Graham Dench 7:11AM 10 DEC 2016
DUAL Stan James Champion Hurdle runner-up My Tent Or Yours has what trainer Nicky Henderson describes as a "golden opportunity" to reassert himself as a live challenger for the race in 2017 when taking on five rivals on favourable terms.
It would be harsh to describe the JP McManus-owned nine-year-old as an underachiever, but he can frustrate on the big occasions and has been second on all three appearances at Cheltenham as well as on four of the five occasions when Barry Geraghty has ridden him.
It is nearly three years since he gained his last hurdles win at the expense of today's main rival The New One in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, and he is dismissed at 50-1 in a place for the big one in March, in which his owner's Yanworth is currently much the shortest-priced British possible.
Nicky Henderson appreciates that My Tent Or Yours ought to win on these terms and said: "This is the day he has to show he's still a live contender, for while it's very competitive he's now thrown away his penalties and so is getting 8lb from Old Guard and The New One.
"He's been in good form and it's a golden opportunity for him to step back on to the big stage."
The New One, due to be ridden by Richard Johnson after Ryan Hatch was injured yesterday, bids to emulate three-time winners Birds Nest and Relkeel, having been an odds-on winner of the International Hurdle in 2013 and 2014 before missing last year's race with a sore foot.
The eight-year-old was expected to have been running over fences by now, but with suitable opportunities on decent ground few and far between this autumn and this Stan James-sponsored Grade 2 offering such good prize money, Nigel Twiston-Davis has elected to give him another spin over hurdles.
Twiston-Davies, who appreciates the scale of the task, confirmed: "We were trying to go over fences but meetings were getting called off and so on and this is obviously an attractive prize and one he's won twice already. He's in really good form and we are hopeful, but he's got a job on giving 8lb to My Tent Or Yours.
"The idea is still to go over fences unless he bolts in, when things might change."
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