Yanworth looks set to sidestep International Hurdle

Yanworth is set to sidestep Saturday’s stanjames.com International Hurdle at Cheltenham and could instead contest the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

The Alan King-trained six-year-old won his first four starts over obstacles last season before finding Yorkhill too strong in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

He made a successful reappearance in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot last month, after which a step up to three miles was considered.

However, he is now set to revert to two miles and with owner JP McManus ready to field My Tent Or Yours at Prestbury Park this weekend, Yanworth is pencilled in for St Stephen’s Day .

“I don’t think he runs (on Saturday) - he’s in there as a back-up and I think My Tent Or Yours goes there,” King said.

“If My Tent Or Yours didn’t go for any reason then he might come back into the equation, but I’m under the impression at the moment that’s the way it’s going to go.

“It could be we’ll wait for the Christmas Hurdle with Yanworth. He’s in good form and worked this morning, but plans have changed somewhat.

“Unowhatimeanharry was very impressive at Newbury, so I think he’s going to go down the Long Walk route for the same owner.

“We look like dropping Yanworth back to see where we are with him.”

Meanwhile Tony McCoy feels that stablemates Thistlecrack and Cue Card should be kept apart at Kempton Park on St Stephen’s Day .

The now retired 20-times champion jockey, whose sole victory in the Grade One prize came aboard three-times Gold Cup winner Best Mate in 2002, believes that trainer Colin Tizzard should take separate paths with his two stable stars.

While Cue Card remains on course to defend his 32Red King George VI Chase crown, a decision is yet to be made whether he will be joined by last season’s World Hurdle winner Thistlecrack with the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase, better known as the Feltham, also being considered by connections.

McCoy said: “They are two sets of owners and there are two different jockeys but if I was Colin Tizzard I would be inclined to try and win both races.

“In the Feltham Thistlecrack would take a hell of a lot of beating where as in the King George there is good standard with Cue Card and whatever else may take their chance. It also depends what will come over from Ireland.

“Thistlecrack is a horse with huge potential and it is hard to know if his jumping would be better or worse in a good race. It is very difficult to judge him on what he has done so far as he has been ridden to get round. In a more competitive race, though, he might be even better.”


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