Call Me Lord prevails by a neck in the Unibet International Hurdle
A change of direction proved no barrier to success for Call Me Lord as he toughed out victory in the Unibet International Hurdle.
Nicky Henderson had kept his charge exclusively to right-handed tracks since his arrival from France two and a half years ago, with his nine previous outings in Britain yielding three victories and a string of placed efforts in good company.
Having finished a close second behind If The Cap Fits on his reappearance in last month's Coral Hurdle at Ascot, Call Me Lord was dropped in distance and switched left-handed for this Grade Two contest - and got the job done in fine style in the hands of James Bowen.
The well-backed 2-1 favourite travelled powerfully for much of the two-mile-one-furlong contest and managed to navigate his way out of a pocket rounding the home turn to throw down his challenge.
Ballyandy came at him hard racing up the hill, but Call Me Lord had enough in hand to prevail by a neck.
Last season's County Hurdle hero Ch'tibello was best of the rest in third, with the winner's Triumph Hurdle-winning stablemate Pentland Hills weakening into fifth after travelling keenly for a long way - losing his unbeaten record over obstacles in the process.