This is set to be a fascinating race if Ben Pauling decides to run Barters Hill here instead of the Albert Bartlett. My own opinion is that he'll take him to the Albert Bartlett because it's going to be extremely difficult to beat Alan King's potential superstar.
Willie Mullins will have two or three runners like he usually does, he aims to win it for the fourth time in nine years.
Last years winner was Windsor Park who beat John Ferguson's Parlour games by almost 4l's. Alan King will be hoping that Yanworth can put up a similar winning performance this year.
Alan King describes this horse as "frightening - in a good way - and he could be very special."
It's hard to argue with him as Yanworth has never come off the bridle in four runs this season, which includes a demolition job over market rival Shantou Village at Cheltenham back in January. Although that wasn't a festival race, Cheltenham form is definitely one to take note of. The handicapper has given Yanworth a rating of 158. Faugheen won this race last year when rated 152 and Windsor Park won it the year before that when rated 146. It's easy to see why Alan King describes Yanworth as frightening. Alan King is sure that Yanworth will improve for better ground so just how good will he be?
Quote from the handicapper - "This may undervalue him (158) but given he is the best novice hurdler full stop so far this season it is largely academic short term, and surely the Festivals will establish quite how good this fellow is."
Officially rated 151 over hurdles and runs left handed for the first time. No question that Yorkhill will get up the Cheltenham hill as his pedigree suggests he could get 3m in time. Positive comments from Mullins regarding this horses chances in this race and no surprise if Yorkhill runs a big race. Yorkhill is a son of Presenting and could improve for better ground. I think Yorkhill is the biggest threat to Yanworth.
Willie Mullins has won this race 3 times since 2008 and although he has a few options in this race he has more or less give an indication of where his horses will be running. It looks as though Long Dog will be entered in this 2m 5f race, whilst he will send Thomas Hobson off to the Albert Bartlett and Yorkhill to the Supreme. Long Dog has won all 6 of his races since beginning his novice campaign in a maiden hurdle back in July. The drying ground will not be a problem and this horse will jump and stay all day. A rating of 147 would suggest it has a decent chance here, (higher than last years winner) but can any horse in this field beat Yanworth?