williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle
|Grade 1, Kempton Park
2m, Class 1
|Thursday 26th December 2013|
1 My Tent Or Yours 11/8
2 The New One 5/6F
3 Sametegal 12/1
6 ran Distances: ½l, 28l, 6l
TIME 3m 55.20s (slow by 13.20s)
My Tent Or Yours stalked the The New One around Kempton in a steadily run race, then pounced on the run-in to claim a thrilling renewal of the williamill.com Christmas Hurdle.
The New One, who had taken it up a fair way from home, just had the upper hand coming to the final flight but made a bad mistake, with Sam Twiston-Davies briefly losing an iron.
That allowed Tony McCoy on the Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old (11-8) to get the better of the 5-6 favourite on the dash to the line and take the Champion Hurdle rehearsal by half a length.
The pair pulled well clear of Sametegal in third.
McCoy said: "It was very pleasing. He pulled hard off a steady enough gallop on heavy ground. He had every chance to fold up because he was so keen, but he really toughed it out.
"When I really needed one at the last, he delivered. He's improved since Newcastle (winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle) and it was a much better performance. I was very impressed with the horse, he has a great will to win.
"He couldn't go for the Champion Hurdle if he hadn't beaten The New One round here, but it was a gruelling enough test because he pulled so hard on heavy ground. He has definitely improved from Newcastle, but he needs to step up a little again and hopefully he can."
Henderson said: "I was pleased with his performance and most of all because AP (McCoy) was pleased with him and he said he'd come on a lot from Newcastle.
"They weren't going much of a gallop and he couldn't let him jump. He didn't do the slick Tent today because he daren't fire him at a hurdle as he was just getting keen. You can't go a good pace in this ground or else you won't get home, but I was impressed with the way the first two came away like they did.
"One would be inclined to run him again before Cheltenham. I think he'd go there horribly fresh if he didn't. When he is fresh, he is keen. I think those were the best two in England, but I think the dangers lie in Ireland. There's Hurricane Fly and Our Conor, who I'm very afraid of. He (McCoy) was a bit sceptical after Newcastle, but said he was impressed today."
Winning owner JP McManus was at Leopardstown, where soon after the win of My Tent Or Yours he saw his famous green and gold silks carried to more Grade One glory by Defy Logic.
He said of his Kempton winner: "AP gave him a wonderful ride. It's been a great half an hour. I heard AP's interview after the race where he said that if we didn't beat him around Kempton we had very little chance of beating him around Cheltenham, but all that said, I still think our horse will give a good account of himself at Cheltenham."
"He probably won't run again before the Champion Hurdle, but I don't know, we'll have to see."
Twiston-Davies jnr said: "There are a lots of ifs and buts about whether he would have won. Nothing we did suited him. It was just very annoying. I wanted to get My Tent Or Yours under pressure early enough, but I couldn't get him at it. He's done me for toe late on and I was relying on a good jump at the last, it wasn't quite there.
"My Tent Or Yours beat us on the day but I do know Cheltenham will suit us a lot better. Hopefully there will be a good gallop at Cheltenham."
Williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
Going: Soft (Heavy on bend adjacent to lake)
||My Tent Or Yours
N J Henderson
|A P McCoy
|11 - 8
||The New One
N A Twiston-Davies
|5 - 6
P F Nicholls
|D A Jacob
|12 - 1
||Duke Of Navan
N G Richards
|50 - 1
|16 - 1
R C Harper
|100 - 1