• Racing/
  • My Tent Wins Christmas Thriller

williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m

  • (4yo+, 2m, Class 1, 6 runners)
  • Winner £56,950 2nd £21,370 3rd £10,700 4th £5,330 5th £2,680 6th £1,340
  • Going: Soft (Heavy on bend adjacent to lake)
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 57.10s
  • Off time: 14:35:26
  • Last Updated: December 26 2013, 16:24 GMT

My Tent Or Yours narrowly denied The New One in a thrilling renewal of the williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.

My Tent Or Yours beat The New One
My Tent Or Yours beat The New One

Nicky Henderson's brilliant six-year-old travelled smoothly under AP McCoy as The New One tracked the pace set by Duke Of Navan in the early stages.

As Sam Twiston-Davies cruised into the lead on The New One rounding the home turn, McCoy moved through in his slipstream as the race developed into the anticipated match.

It all came down to who would jump the last better as they went hammer and tong stride by stride, and My Tent Or Yours came out on top in that respect, The New One clambering over and that halted his momentum.

Still, Twiston-Davies regathered his mount for one last surge but My Tent Or Yours found plenty for pressure and he was half a length in front at the line.

The pair were 28 lengths clear of third home Sametegal.

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 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.

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"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."

The New One's trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said: "He was only beaten half a length and if he hadn't missed the last he might have got it.

"You don't want to be making the running in a race like that, and you wish there had been a better gallop - we probably should have put a pacemaker in.

"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."

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."

Neither of the first two did any harm to their Stan James Champion Hurdle prospects, with Sky Bet offering 3/1 about both horses in the immediate aftermath.

Spokesman Michael Shinners said: "They were hard to split at Kempton and they'll be hard to split at Cheltenham. What we do know is we're in for a cracking Champion Hurdle."


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