Kempton Lanzarote Hurdle Day Preview
An excellent afternoon is in store at Kempton Park on Saturday as they host their Lanzarote Hurdle card. The feature race is a Listed Handicap over 2m5f and goes to post at 2.40pm, while they also boast the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase 35 minutes earlier. The Racing Post previews Saturday's Kempton card, which runs from 12.20pm-3.50pm.
12.20 - Play Coral 'Racing-Super-Series' For Free Juvenile Hurdle (2m)
Glide Down was runner-up at Market Rasen last month in his hurdles introduction for trainer Alan King. He chased home market leader Tease And Seize, who has since run honourably as a 66/1 poke in the Grade 1 Finale at Chepstow over Christmas. That's a solid effort and there should be more to come, so he's the one they are aiming at today.
Cuban Cigar has work to do based on his only hurdles run at Leicester in November, so it may prove that the dangers come from the newcomers over timber.
Dawn Trapper makes limited appeal on what he has achieved, therefore it is to DIRHAM EMIRATI and Silver Shade we turn to for challenges.
The latter has proved useful on the level for Mark Johnston and new trainer Milton Harris is enjoying a fine season, but Gary Moore's work with juvenile hurdlers is well documented and Dirham Emirati - rated 80 on the Flat - could be another to fare well for him in this sphere. The yard are flying recently and this stable debutant should be ready to roll.
Selection: Dirham Emirati
Next Best: Glide Down
12.55 - Watch Racing Free Online At Coral Novices' Hurdle (3m½f)
A good chunk of these are open to progress and connections will feel they've shown enough to warrant the feeling they can do better before long.
Into that category go Gentleman Valley, Major Sting and Dash Full Of Cash.
Gentleman Valley won here over 2m5f for trainer Ben Pauling in October on hurdles bow. Two of those that finished behind have won subsequently, though only in modest events, but he was pulled up since at Doncaster and needs more after undergoing a wind operation since.
Like Major Sting, he is set tackling this sort of trip for the first time. Nicky Henderson's charge was fourth in a decent Chepstow maiden in October but also pulled up at Warwick in one outing since.
Dash Full Of Cash meanwhile shaped with some promise in a Doncaster maiden (3m½f, good to soft) last month for Lucy Wadham and gets a chance to build on that now with promising apprentice Corey McGivern claiming a handy 10lb on his back.
The pick is MILAN BRIDGE for champion trainer Paul Nicholls. He made a winning start over timber at Lingfield (2m3½f, good to soft) in November in what looks a useful novices' event. He only won by a length but looked to be saving something for himself. Staying this trip on a track like Kempton should be within his reach.
Harry Fry's Ree Okka was second to dual Grade 2 runner-up Gelino Bello on hurdles bow at Aintree in November and had every chance to fold since at Chepstow when pestered up the home straight before eventually pulling away on the flat. He's got to be respected too in what could be a useful race.
Selection: Milan Bridge
Next Best: Dash Full Of Cash
1.32 - Coral 'Fail-To-Finish' Free Bets Handicap Chase (2m4½f)
Champagne Court heads the early betting for trainer Jeremy Scott having shown renewed form this season in three starts over hurdles. He was taking advantage of a lower rating in that sphere however and he hasn't won over fences since 2019. He needs to show he can transfer that recent promise across.
Fanzio is likely to be close to or setting the pace. He's 6lb clear of his best win-mark and isn't one to rely on implicitly but he did finish a good second at Doncaster five weeks ago and needs to be considered a player on that run.
Top-weight Falco Blitz is another capable sort for the Nicky Henderson team. He was pulled up at Bangor on his comeback run in November but moved well there and perhaps didn't see out three-miles in the end. Dropped back in distance he is on a fair mark and should go well.
It's hard however to knock KAP AUTEUIL. Toby Lawes' charge has won five of his last six starts over fences, including at Fontwell in December over 2m5½f on soft ground when showing a good attitude in a battle. His previous setback had come over 2m around Cheltenham in a good race and his best form is on flatter tracks. He's up 4lb here but this venue should suit him and he looks a major threat again.
Selection: Kap Auteuil
Next Best: Falco Blitz
2.05 - Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase (Grade 2, 2m4½f)
Just four runners for this Grade 2 prize and it's impossible to factor any of them out. In truth, all of them have some sort of a query to answer.
None more so than Defi Du Seuil, a dual Grade 1 winner in open company in the 2019/20 season for Philip Hobbs, those wins coming in the Tingle Creek and Clarence House. He flopped in the Champion Chase that spring and is winless in three sparse appearances since. He went off favourite in a 2m5f good-ground Ascot event in November on his comeback but was easily repelled and connections desperately need something positive from him here. He's hard to trust at the moment.
Mister Fisher was pulled up in the King George here on Boxing Day and has now failed to complete is three of his last four starts. He did give Frodon a major scare at Sandown (2m6½f, good) in this grade back in the spring and will have solid claims if in that sort of mood.
Eldorado Allen won the Haldon Gold Cup on his comeback, a useful bit of form, though he was somewhat fortunate as Hitman appeared to throw the prize away once the jumping was completed. Colin Tizzard's runner meanwhile posted a sound third in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon in December and could have more to give at this distance on a track like Kempton.
It's ROUGE VIF that earns the nod. Paul Nicholls is bidding to win this race for the third year running and his target-training has been highlighted again this season.
Having lost his way with Harry Whittington last season - albeit in Grade 1s - Rouge Vif moved to Ditcheat in the summer and underwent a wind op. He was a bit too keen on his stable bow at Cheltenham in November, resulting in him finding little up that gruelling finish.
He must settle better but stable jockey Harry Cobden takes over here and he's got the potential to see this sort of trip out on what is a speed-biased track. Getting 6lb from Eldorado Allen and Mister Fisher, no shock if he makes a bold bid for the champion trainer.
Selection: Rouge Vif
Next Best: Eldorado Allen
2.40 - Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (Listed, 2m5f)
A field of 20 are set to contest the latest running of this prestigious handicap. Despite a 66/1 poke scoring last January for Emma Lavelle, the Lanzarote is a race in which those towards the front of the market have done well in recent years.
Marie's Rock is set to head the betting after scoring decisively over C&D last month for Nicky Henderson, the trainer with three wins in this race in the last nine years. She is 9lb higher now but could have more to come.
Gelino Bello has twice finished second behind talented Irish novice Blazing Khal in Grade 2s at Cheltenham and takes a drop in class here for Paul Nicholls, another man with three wins in the Lanzarote since 2008.
Venetia Williams is a dual winner of this race and GREEN BOOK is fancied to give her a third success. The Authorized gelding had three runs last month and, after a narrow Haydock defeat, won two of them at the Merseyside venue and then at Ludlow upped to this trip. He did so in ready fashion and the form of his most recent score was boosted by the runner-up winning this week.
A mark of 130 looks attainable and he's got Ned Fox claiming 10lb on his back here. Six of the last eight Lanzarote winners had claiming riders on board.
Selection: Green Book
Next Best: Gelino Bello
3.15 - Coral Committed To Safer Gambling Handicap Chase (3m)
After posting a good effort in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November on his reappearance, Caribean Boy was fancied at Ascot last month stepped up to this trip for the first time but he didn't get beyond the first fence. Nicky Henderson's charge is potentially on a decent mark if bouncing back from that, though he does have top-weight to defy here.
Veteran A Toi Phil was well held on New Year's Day at Cheltenham but should find this more to his liking back up in trip/down in class and he could have hopes of reaching the frame for an in-form Gary Moore yard. Fellow 12YO Double Shuffle hasn't fired in two runs this season and needs the introduction of a tongue-tie to inspire him if he's going to retain this crown.
Strictlyadancer didn't get home in the London National at Sandown last month but had won three on the spin for Christian Williams previously and is another with bounce-back possibilities under his 7lb claiming rider.
SMARTY WILD was a winner at this meeting 12 months ago over a shorter trip and Philip Hobbs' charge has run with promise in all three starts this season including last month at Ludlow on his first crack at three-miles. The handicapper eased him a pound after that third-place finish and he should go close here.
Selection: Smarty Wild
Next Best: Strictlyadancer
3.50 - Coral Proud To Support British Racing Handicap Hurdle (2m)
The hat-trick seeking Earth Company bids to follow up wins at Taunton and Wincanton in the previous two month for the Philip Hobbs yard. He is 6lb higher now but had more in hand than the winning margin suggested last time and should mount another challenge.
Having won at Plumpton in October in decisive fashion, ROYAUME UNI posted a solid third at Cheltenham (2m1f, good to soft) last month for the Gary Moore team off a mark 1lb lower than this.
That form has been advertised since, with the runner-up a very easy winner over this C&D in Boxing Day - while fourth home Quinto De Mar is set to line up in the Lanzarote on this card.
First Street won twice in the autumn over timber before finding the Grade 2 Persian War at Chepstow too warm. He's undergone a wind op since and makes his first foray into a handicap now for Nicky Henderson so he's certainly one to note.
Selection: Royaume Uni
Next Best: First Street