My Tent Or Yours makes 'racecourse' return as De Boinville lands Kempton four-timer
Nicky Henderson was delighted after the long-absent My Tent Or Yours came through a racecourse gallop under Barry Geraghty at Kempton with flying colours.
The 2014 Champion Hurdle runner-up missed last season through injury but is in line to return to action at Wincanton next weekend.
Geraghty rode My Tent Or Yours, with Tony McCoy partnering stablemate Hargam, and the pair jumped four hurdles but none in the home straight.
My Tent Or Yours tracked Hargam into the straight before moving alongside his stablemate between the two- and one-furlong poles. Geraghty eased his mount ahead inside the last 100 yards and he finished around a length in front.
"It was absolutely perfect and it would have done both horses the world of good," said Henderson.
"Hargam was the obvious horse to work him with, not for the fact that he is JP's (McManus) but Hargam needs serious work and that was perfect for him considering he was only here as the hare.
"It's been awfully stop-start with My Tent and the main issue has been a sore shin. It's just been niggle after niggle.
"We've got behind and we've been looking at doing something like this for a while. Talking to JP, he was keen for this.
"He wanted to come on a race-day to get in the atmosphere and not just come on Sunday morning for a gallop around the all-weather as that's not going to get him into the spirit.
"My Tent Or Yours was very slick. AP schooled him on Thursday and he had not seen a hurdle until then."
The master of Seven Barrows added: "It has been frustrating with My Tent Or Yours getting these injuries. It's been a long old road back.
"I can't tell you he will slay Faugheen but he will be competitive. We were always fighting to get him there and we never gave up.
"Hargam might run in the Champion Hurdle then head to Aintree as he is the sort of horse that can do that."
The competitive action also brought a smile to the trainer as his Josses Hill put past frustrations over fences behind him when taking the Graduation Chase - the highlight of a career-first 170/1 four-timer for jockey Nico de Boinville.
While yet to fully convince in six previous starts over the larger obstacles - including when finishing runner-up in this same contest 12 months ago - the eight-year-old saw his talent come through to reverse last year Arkle placings with God's Own. Despite jumping big over the first few fences, the 10/11 favourite, making his first start since taking a crashing fall in the Tingle Creek, settled into a good rhythm at the head of the field before seeing off the Tom George-trained runner by eight lengths.
"The Ryanair is the much more likely race, while Punchestown would be good fun," Henderson explained.
De Boinville's red-letter day began with victory on 11/4 shot Ballyhenry in the staying novice hurdle for trainer Ben Pauling. Josses Hill followed, along with victory on another favourite, Pauling's 3/1 shot Silvergrove in the three-mile handicap chase.
The Gold Cup-winning rider then finished last, beaten 101 lengths, on his next ride aboard Fell Runner for Henderson in the first division of the bumper but he was back in the winner's enclosure in the second division aboard Henderson's 5/1 chance Stowaway Magic.