King keen to see if Yanworth has the speed for Champion
32Red Christmas Hurdle | Grade 1 | 2m | 4yo+| C4/RUK
Like many, trainer Alan King is keen to see how effective his stable star – who won the 2m3½f Coral Hurdle on his latest start – is over a shorter trip.
"As far as I know Barry was always going to ride Yanworth," added King. "You'd say Kempton wouldn't be my first choice of tracks, but it fits in with everything at the moment.
"All has been well since Cheltenham and I'm very excited," said trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. "He was superb at Cheltenham and I was really chuffed with him.
"It was only a fortnight ago, but then My Tent Or Yours was in the same race and he had a harder race as he got beat, while will two miles be Yanworth's distance? Hopefully not."
He added: "We've got a hell of a shout. We were beaten half a length by My Tent when he was at his best round here, but The New One made a horlicks of the last, a desperate mistake that cost him the race, so I'm not worried about the track, and he's versatile with ground."
Ch'tibello's Haydock win 'no fluke'
Ch'tibello also has a knockout of My Tent Or Yours to his name, having had that rival back in third when winning the Betfair Price Rush Hurdle at Haydock last time.
That success came on heavy ground but last season's Scottish Champion Hurdle winner has shown a high level of form on a sounder surface.
"He surprised us all that he went on the ground at Haydock last time out, but I don't think it was a fluke," said trainer Dan Skelton.
"He's been in great form at home since then and definitely goes there with a chance because of the make-up of the race."
Aiming to get round
With prize-money down to fifth place, rank outsider Gray Wolf River's owner-trainer Richard Harper is hoping for a clear round from the 13-race maiden, who is officially rated 104lb inferior to The New One.
"We're taking our chance because of the lack of entries and I appreciate it won't please everyone," he said.
"She's been a bit disappointing since I bought her in the spring but she jumps well and if she can get round she'll pick up nearly £3,000."
Regarding tactics for jockey Daniel Hiskett, whom Harper will be meeting for the first time, the trainer said: "When you enter a bicycle in the Grand Prix it's probably best not to be on the front grid."