Yanworth Image by Steven Cargill

Yanworth winning the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park
Image by Steven Cargill

Alan King believes that the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown could act as an ideal prep race for Yanworth ahead of an outing in the Champion Hurdle.

The Barbury Castle handler is leaning towards making the Listed affair on February 4 the next stopping point for the improving six-year-old.

After capturing a Grade Two at Ascot on his return to action last month the J P McManus-owned gelding strengthened his position as the leading British contender for National Hunt racing’s premier hurdles prize with a first Grade One win in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.

King said: “I think the Contenders Hurdle is a possibility.

“He probably wants one more run somewhere before Cheltenham and he will either go there or to Haydock for the Champion Hurdle trial.

“Sandown, I think, will suit him so we will look at that. Hopefully he might frighten most of them away.

“The race is on February 4 so that would be perfect timing-wise.”