sport

My Tent wins Christmas thriller

My Tent Or Yours narrowly denied The New One in a thrilling renewal of the williamhill.com Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Nicky Henderson's brilliant six-year-old travelled smoothly under AP McCoy as The New One tracked the pace set by Duke Of Navan in the early stages.

As Sam Twiston-Davies cruised into the lead on The New One rounding the home turn, McCoy moved through in his slipstream as the race developed into the anticipated match.

It all came down to who would jump the last better as they went hammer and tong stride by stride, and My Tent Or Yours came out on top in that respect, The New One clambering over and that halted his momentum.

Still, Twiston-Davies regathered his mount for one last surge but My Tent Or Yours found plenty for pressure and he was half a length in front at the line.

The pair were 28 lengths clear of third home Sametegal.

McCoy said: "It was very pleasing. He pulled hard off a steady enough gallop on heavy ground.

"He had every chance to fold up because he was so keen, but he really toughed it out.

"When I really needed one at the last, he delivered. He's improved since Newcastle (winning Fighting Fifth Hurdle) and it was a much better performance. I was very impressed with the horse, he has a great will to win.

"He couldn't go for the Champion Hurdle if he hadn't beaten The New One round here, but it was a gruelling enough test because he pulled so hard on heavy ground.

"He has definitely improved from Newcastle, but he needs to step up a little again and hopefully he can."

Neither of the first two did any harm to their Stan James Champion Hurdle prospects, with Sky Bet offering 3/1 about both horses in the immediate aftermath.

Spokesman Michael Shinners said: "They were hard to split at Kempton and they'll be hard to split at Cheltenham. What we do know is we're in for a cracking Champion Hurdle."