TRAINER Alan King is set to unleash stable star YANWORTH in Saturday's Coral Hurdle (2.40pm).
This beautiful chestnut son of Norse Dancer was four from four going into the Cheltenham Festival, only to be denied by Willie Mullins' Yorkhill in the Neptune.
Yanworth stayed all the way to the line and was even making ground on Mullins' runner in the closing stages.
On another day that form could well be turned around. In my eyes Yanworth is still the real deal and he can land today's race before connections decide on a crack at the Champion or World Hurdle.
Barry Geraghty takes the ride, despite the top class My Tent Or Yours lining up at Haydock, and that has to be a tip in itself. Take the evens with Betway.
If there's one horse that can spoil the party it's Zarkandar. He has been good enough to compete at four Festivals and is a class act.
All of his best form is over three miles, though, so today's trip could be a bit sharp. After that, the Shawbrook Handicap Chase (3.15pm) could feature a number of decent types.
Betway Champion Chase 2014 hero Sire De Grugy is likely to take his place and should go well, while Venetia Williams, who does so well at Ascot, could field the progressive Cold March.
Both have good chances, but I fancy VANITEUX to beat them both. He ran a stormer in the Racing Post Arkle and almost certainly would have been second to Douvan if not falling two out.
He goes well fresh and is well handicapped to win first time up, while Nicky Henderson’s horses are in excellent form.
Yanworth 2.40pm Ascot
Vaniteux 3.15pm Ascot