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Yanworth, play or lay?

We now know that 12 go to post for the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday and knowing what lines up now I thought I’d take another look at Yanworth.

Is he a play, or a lay?

The plain fact is, I’m seeing more negatives than positives. Firstly, the only jockey to have won on him since he went over hurdles is Barry Geraghty and, as we know, he will not be riding due to injury.

His form on good to soft is great, the 3-3 the best on show and his 5-7 at the trip is as good as anything lining up now that VROUM VROUM MAG has been diverted to the Mares Final but, his form at Cheltenham, is 1-3.

Look back at his winning form over obstacles:

Wincanton – right handed
Kempton – right handed
Ascot – right handed
Cheltenham – left handed
Ascot – right handed
Warwick – left handed
Exeter – right handed

The one win at Cheltenham came over 2 1/2 miles on heavy ground, when he beat the genuine good ground horse Shantou Village….that runner up has never won on anything else but good ground.

The win at left handed Warwick, which bears no comparison to Cheltenham, beating Le Prezien (who was making his debut for Paul Nicholls, having arrived from France), would be nothing but decent form.

At the start of the season he was being trained very much with the Stayers Hurdle in mind but JP purchased Unowhatimeanharry for that race and so, the programme changed.

He is obviously a very talented horse but watching him you note he spends to much time in the air and doesn’t hurdle like a Champion Hurdler should….the picture left demonstrates exactly what I mean. He should be winging it, flicking it out of the way, low and fast.

This years renewal is as weak as I have ever seen and I thought last season was bad but he’s now 5/2 favourite to succeed.

I felt last season that the form of the Supreme was superb, better than that of the Neptune, and if that’s right then the decision to return Buveur Dair to hurdling as quickly as they did, was the correct one and I’d expect him to confirm the form with Petite Mouchoir from that race, who was nearly nine lengths further back.

That was Buveur Dair’s only defeat over hurdles to date and it’s hardly poor form finishing third to Altior. If that horse was in this field he’d be long odds on to win the race.

Given everything I have written, I have to suggest Yanworth as a lay but for sure, he’ll be bang there and won’t be stopping, and he wouldn’t be my banker lay of the week.

It will be interesting to see what the Profiling suggests, tomorrow.

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