Rather Be in the Martin Pipe

Rather Be has the option of running in either the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival or the EBF Final at Sandown.

Rather Be (l) could return to Sandown in March

Nicky Henderson's six-year-old was just touched off by Triumph Hurdle possible Coeur De Lion at Sandown on Saturday.

Rather Be was ridden by Ned Curtis, who would be in line to keep the mount should he run at Cheltenham.

"It was a very solid effort, we thought, giving 9lb to the winner, " said owner Matt Morgan.

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"The first two pulled a long way clear of the third, who was quietly fancied.

"The winner hasn't been disgraced by two nice horses, Defi Du Seuil and Don Bersy and we didn't think our lad would like the ground.

"He went through it but ideally wouldn't want it that soft. His half-brother (Sign Of A Victory) can barely walk in soft ground.

"Now he's qualified for the EBF Final that has to be an option, but the ground is likely to be soft again so the other option is the Martin Pipe.

"The handicapper can't put him up too much but hopefully it will be enough to guarantee a run.

"Ned would be top of the pile to ride him in that if that's where we end up.

"This year's just a bonus as he's built like a chaser."

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