My Tent Or Yours was not required to break sweat to win a jumpers’ bumper at Kempton in what Nicky Henderson described as a “perfect” experience ahead of his challenge for the Stan James Champion Hurdle.
On his first outing since landing the Christmas Hurdle at the same course on Boxing Day, My Tent Or Yours was the 1-5 favourite for a two-mile event on the Polytrack and he took a strong hold in Tony McCoy’s hands as the field passed the stands with a lap to go.
A gelding who has always shown a smart cruising speed, he made a smooth transition from mid-division to reach the lead with over two furlongs left and had no difficulty in pulling four and a half lengths away from Ranjaan, who would be rated around 2st inferior over hurdles.
Henderson elected to sidestep Saturday’s Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton because of testing ground and had intended to give the Cheltenham sponsors’ 5-1 third-favourite a racecourse gallop until this fixture was announced late last week.
McCoy said: “He was very fresh as he hadn’t run since Christmas, but this was just to take the fizz out of him. I wanted to quicken up in the straight, otherwise I could have followed them along on the bridle all day.”
Henderson said: “From our point of view that was absolutely 100 per cent perfect. Everyone’s had long odds-on shots turned over, so we were on a hiding to nothing in way.
“There was Wincanton yesterday against two good horses (Melodic Rendezvous and Zarkandar) but you don’t want Cheltenham horses having tough races now. We took a view last week that we wouldn’t run any more Cheltenham horses in soft ground.”
McCoy has strongly hinted he will ride My Tent Or Yours rather than Jezki for owner JP McManus, but said: “I do think we haven’t seen the best of the other horse. I don’t need to make that decision, but this horse is the shorter price and is more likely.”