Evan Williams believes Clyne has a good chance on his best form when he steps back up to three miles in the William Hill Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.
The nine-year-old ran a tremendous race when second to Unowhatimeanharry in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in November on his first try at the trip.
He could not quite repeat that in the Relkeel Hurdle over an extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day – but Williams felt Clyne was unsuited by the track’s undulations.
A flat course suits him better and he is a dual winner at Haydock.
“He’s not done a lot wrong this season. He didn’t handle Cheltenham last time, he didn’t come down the hill, but he ran a very good race the time before,” said Williams.
“He’s back to a track where he’s run some very good races. We’ll give it a go.
“I’ve got no worries about the trip or the track.”
He added: “It’s a very good race. You’ve got last year’s winner (Donna’s Diamond) and Yanworth in there. It’s competitive, but if he can reproduce his Aintree run from last year (when third to L’Ami Serge) he has got a good chance.”
Alan King is pleased to be getting Yanworth back in action after he was forced to skip the first half of the campaign.
“He didn’t come back in until Christmas so I’m sure he’ll improve, but I am very happy with him at the moment,” said King.
“This looks a nice place to start and hopefully we can start making plans for the Festival for him after the weekend.”
Looking back, Shades Of Midnight put in a sterling effort to get within half a length of Paisley Park in a handicap hurdle over this course and distance in November, as the winner as gone on to lift the JLT and Cleeve Hurdles and is a warm favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
His only run since came over fences at Kelso, which he won in good style by 10 lengths in a three-runner field.
“We went over fences and he won a nice prize, but he’ll not run over fences again unless it’s really soft,” said Berwickshire trainer Sandy Thomson.
“This was a nice hurdle race to go for. I don’t know what it will do to his handicap mark. It depends on how he runs. It’s just a chance he has to take at this stage.
“He’s very well. We could have done with it being a bit softer, but never mind.
“There isn’t a huge number of hurdle races for him as he doesn’t really travel that well, so we don’t want to go further afield.
“We could put him in the Pertemps (Hurdle Final) and go to Cheltenham. That still might be an option as there might be another qualifier somewhere, but the best thing is to run him where we don’t have to travel overnight.”