Yanworth impresses King

02 March 2018 05:29:04 EST

Alan King expects that Yanworth will be 'right there' when he lines up in the Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in two weeks' time.

The Barbury Castle handler has aborted a novice chasing campaign with Yanworth this term in favour of having a go at the three-mile Championship contest over timber instead.

He believes Yanworth's victory over Supasundae at Aintree last spring is the best piece of form on the eight-year-old's CV and puts him in the mix for Stayers' success.

Yanworth has won two of his four starts over fences this season, including the Grade Two Dipper at Cheltenham on New Year's Day when he last ran. King, however, suggests that his form is just a bit shy of what will be required in the leading novice contests over the larger obstacles come the festival.

"We went chasing and it hasn't been a disaster by any means - he has been second in a Grade Two and he won a Grade Two," he told At The Races.

"I just think that off his chasing mark we shouldn't be running in the RSA [Chase] and the Stayers' Hurdle is worth an awful lot of money this year."

Yanworth is now a 5/1 chance in the Stayers' Hurdle, while Jessica Harrington's Supasundae is trading at 6/1 for the 15th March contest.

Having failed to justify favouritism in last season's Champion Hurdle, King stepped Yanworth up to three miles at Aintree where he enjoyed a one-length success over Supasundae.

The latter has performed remarkably well this season and King is clearly keen on having another crack at him come Cheltenham.

"Good horses can win over any trip but his best bit of form is probably over three miles at Liverpool last year when he beat Supasundae in the Grade 1 Liverpool Ryanair Stayers and, on that running, he would have to be right there [in the Stayers]", he added.

The New One, meanwhile, can be backed at 12/1 for the Stayers' Hurdle with his trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies having confirmed the perennial Champion Hurdle contender will be going down the three-mile route this year.

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