Tent takes Scottish test
Nicky Henderson is keen to find out whether the application of headgear will help My Tent Or Yours at Ayr on Saturday.
The seven-year-old has enjoyed a fine season so far, winning the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton en-route to his Champion Hurdle bid at last month's Cheltenham Festival.
While he lost little in defeat, going down by a neck to fellow JP McManus-owned runner Jezki, My Tent Or Yours' early exuberance may have cost him victory and he is now fitted with a hood in an attempt to kerb his enthusiasm.
Henderson said ahead of the QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle: "Everything has gone great since Cheltenham and I just wanted to give him one more run so we could try a few different things with him.
"I know it's a handicap, but it's a limited handicap with good prize-money.
"There weren't many alternatives. It was either this or Punchestown (Racing Post Champion Hurdle) and there wasn't much point in him taking on Jezki again as far as JP is concerned.
"Jezki is going to Punchestown, so we'll go to Ayr and we'll see what happens.
"They will be racing on fresh ground, so there shouldn't be any worries on that score."
My Tent Or Yours concedes upwards of a stone in weight to 10 opponents, headed by last week's Aintree winner, Court Minstrel.
Evan Williams turns his charge out under a penalty just seven days after his Merseyside triumph.
He said: "He's come out of Aintree exceptionally well and we're happy to let him run.
"It's not just about the top horse, Alan King (Montbazon) and Gordon Elliott (Flaxen Flare) have good horses in there - it's a very competitive race.
"Our horse is in great form and deserves to take his chance, so we'll see what happens."
King believes Montbazon is in even better form now than when finishing a close-up third in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham last month.
He told his website www.alankingracing.co.uk: "He was third in the County Hurdle and the form is looking pretty good with the winner (Lac Fontana) going in again at Aintree last week.
"I hope and think he has improved for that run as we did not have a clear run going into the Festival, but things have gone perfectly since.
"He seems in great form and we are getting plenty of weight from My Tent Of Yours, so we have to give it a go, and the drying ground is definitely a bonus."
Clever Cookie has enjoyed an excellent campaign for trainer Peter Niven, completing a hat-trick in the Premier Kelso Hurdle at the start of March.
Niven said: "It will be a big ask for him, obviously, but he's in good form and we'll find out if he's any good.
"We gave him an entry at Aintree last week, but we decided to wait for this. Josses Hill bolted up in the Aintree race, anyway.
"I always had this race at the back of my mind, so we'll see what happens."
Cotton Mill, Cockney Sparrow, Ifandbutwhynot, Swing Bowler, Silk Hall and Barizan also line up.