The news that Grandouet is undergoing treatment for a near-fore issue, and is likely to miss the Kingwell Hurdle, has sent ripples through the Champion Hurdle market.
While trainer Nicky Henderson stressed that there is no danger to his Champion Hurdle plans, it was still enough for a number of layers to suspend betting for a time. Corals and Betfred have yet to update their odds, but most firms now quote Grandouet at between 7/1 and 8/1. The injury scare to the second favourite has seen Hurricane Fly shorten as market leader, with most firms clipping him into 5/4. The news also makes the prospect of exciting novice My Tent Or Yours being switched to the Champion, a real possibility.
The impressive Betfair Hurdle winner has been given a new handicap mark of 162, a figure that puts him right in the mix for the big race. While owner JP McManus may still favour a tilt at the Supreme Novices with his new star, there must be a chance that Nicky Henderson will talk him into a bid for the more prestigious race. As it is, McManus already has the second favourite Jezki for the former event, and he would make a more than able deputy.
Henderson suffered the loss of potential champion Darlan last week, and with Binocular looking a pale shadow of his former self, the Seven Barrows Champion Hurdle challenge is suddenly looking thin on the ground. Some bookmakers are quoting My Tent Or Yours at 4/1 with a run in this season’s race. Those odds may yet prove generous.