A week which started with the tough task of handling the death of the highly-promising Champion Hurdle contender Darlan, ended with a scintillating performance that threw down the perfect tribute to an ill-fated stable mate for connections.
A race which had seen a crushing final-flight fall from Darlan the previous year, My Tent Or Yours took off where his stable mate left off and powered away with a mature, exciting and enthralling victory which rocketed the six year old hurdler to the top of the betting for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Having took a keen hold early on in the race, My Tent Or Yours, under the expert hands of AP McCoy, made eye-catching progress throughout the course of the Betfair Hurdle, slowly picking his rivals off one by one with an exquisite display of jumping from one hurdle to the next. Racing as a novice in a handicap for the first time, My Tent Or Yours traveled well and produced a performance of substantial maturity, readily accounting for his more battle-hardy opponents.
With three flights of hurdles to go, My Tent Or Yours and AP McCoy began to loom boldly behind the leaders, taking things up with two flights of hurdles to go and readily ending the competitiveness of the Betfair Hurdle with a series of smooth jumps over the final two hurdles to power away for a five length success over Cotton Mill and the previously-unbeaten, Swing Bowler.
"It's been a tough week and I haven't been able to talk about it much" said McCoy, "I'm delighted for JP McManus, it's been a tough week for them. That was a very good performance off a high mark for a novice on testing ground.".
My Tent Or Yours was installed as the hot 2-1 favourite for the Cheltenham Festival opener, the Supreme Novices Hurdle, after the Betfair Hurdle. A race which connections now take dead aim for on Tuesday 12th March.
Photo Courtesy of Emma-Louise Kerwin (Goodtosoft.co.uk)