Fifteen runners have been confirmed for the Lanzarote at Kempton and it looks a typically competitive affair.
We’ve narrowed this one down to what we think are six key contenders, the selection certainly being a nice type going the right way.
And The New
Johnny Farrelly’s entrant has won just a soft ground novice hurdle to date but may be all the better for being in a bigger race, though he may attempt to lead them with the potential pitfall of setting too strong a pace.
If Daryl Jacob can keep a lid on that then there’s definitely improvement to come from this one after a decent run last time at Fontwell when he just couldn’t match the winner over a trip probably short of ideal.
The distance will help then and the decent ground is to his liking, though despite a good run being expected he may find a couple too good for win purposes.
Definitely overpriced after his exploits so far this season, Neil King’s 6yo stays this trip well and loves good ground. He’s been beaten into second the last twice but has continued to improve, so another step forward off a mark just 2lbs higher than at Doncaster last time reads OK.
He was a beaten favourite at Donny but that was in a four-runner race and there’s little doubt Bryony Frost’s mount will be better off for the quicker pace here so with some luck this horse has every chance and is a fine each-way prospect.
Philip Hobbs’ gelding comes here on a four-timer and yet has been let loose by the bookmakers, going into Friday evening as a general 10/1 chance.
A look through his form suggests he’ll appreciate this ground as it may have been a little too quick if anything last time despite his comfortable success at Leicester. As a handicap winner now there was always the potential for him to be harshly treated but a 4lb rise for his latest win is not to prohibitive and he remains a prospect.
There’s been some very strong money this week for Gary Moore’s runner, one very experienced on the Flat where he got up to a mark of 90. Based on average stats, at 127 he’s already surpassed what some may have thought him capable of over jumps but it seems in fact he is only now finding his niche.
He took a major step forward to win his opening hurdle race of the season and improved again when landing a race at Doncaster by 7 lengths, a performance that showed him to stay well and appreciate good underfoot conditions.
He’s had an easier time than most in this field and doesn’t really have too many weaknesses on all known evidence, so barring any disasters it’s incredibly hard to see him putting in a poor performance and off this mark he simply has to be involved in the finish.
Despite being soundly beaten in his last three runs, there have been a number of shrewdies getting on this one during the week and to be fair it’s easy to see why with a close look at his form.
Beaten 12 lengths at Haydock in the Swinton back in May, he stepped forward from that to run a 5¾ length fourth at Wincanton on his seasonal debut. He’ll be fitter than that now, didn’t appreciate the soft ground last time and has arguably better form over longer distances so this trip and ground today may show him to still be very much an improving type.
Star Of Lanka
Warren Greatrex’s runner comes here on a hat-trick having won two races at Hereford on softer ground. He’s done well and we can never discount last time out winners, but the quality of his previous opposition and the different underfoot conditions means we’d be taking a leap to say he’ll be at his best in this race.
With help from Bryony Frost and the bigger field, we should see Canyon City outrun his price in this race and I couldn’t put you off having a nibble each-way. Lord Napier too has a solid look about him for place money but, as boring as it is, they may both struggle to get beyond this week’s talking horse.
Barring incidents, KLOUD GATE looks very solid for a Lanzarote Hurdle runner and as long as some sort of reasonable price holds he looks worth support.