Shut up! King banking on Yanworth to silence ‘so-called experts’
Alan King is confident Yanworth can hit back at his critics with the top-class hurdler set for his third start over fences at Newbury on Friday.
A two-time Grade 1 winner last season, Yanworth made a successful start to his chase career at Exeter last month, but a return to the venue this month did not go so well as he came down at the seventh fence.
That led to suggestions in some quarters that the seven-year-old should revert to hurdles, but King hit back at those detractors in his Racing Post Weekender column.
"I’m hoping that Yanworth shows everyone what he can do – and shuts up one or two people – in the Grade 2 novice chase at Newbury on Friday," the trainer said.
"There was never any chance that he would switch back to hurdles after his fall at Exeter last time. What would be the point of that?
"Yet I saw that suggestion being made and it does annoy me when so-called experts, who’ve never sat on a horse in their lives, say that sort of thing."
Assessing the fall, King added: "It’s not as though Yanworth jumped clumsily. He just landed a little steeply and it was a typical novice’s fall.
"He schooled last Thursday, jumping nine fences, and it was clear from what he did that morning that the fall hadn’t worried him."
Yanworth is odds-on to win the Grade 2 Ladbrokes Novices' Chase at Newbury, and it could be a good test, with Modus and Willoughby Court among his potential rivals.
King is not worried about who turns up, as he said: "There are other decent horses entered, but he goes there regardless of what else runs as we’ve got to kick on and get more match practice into him."
Yanworth has a few options for the Cheltenham Festival and while he is a best-priced 12-1 for the JLT Novices' Chase, he is a 25-1 shot for the Arkle.
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Read Alan King's unmissable column in the Racing Post Weekender – out every Wednesday