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2019 Lanzarote Hurdle tips - Two against the field for Saturday's feature race at Kempton

Brian Healy 9 Jan 2019
The Lanzarote Hurdle is the feature race of Saturday's racecard at Kempton.

The feature race of Saturday’s race-card, the competitive Listed Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle goes to post at 2.40pm as the fifth race of the afternoon at the Sunbury venue.

Boasting a first-prize in excess of £25,000 the 2m5f contest is named after the famous Lanzarote, who won the 1974 Champion Hurdle, and who had an excellent record at this venue where he twice won the Christmas Hurdle.

Some classy names feature on the winners’ roll of honour for this competitive contest, including Modus, Tea For Two and Saphir Du Rheu in recent years, while William Henry took top honours twelve months ago for trainer Nicky Henderson. 

Brian Healy takes a look at the early entries for Saturday’s big prize at Kempton, and he picks out two against the field who could go close if lining up.

Nicky Henderson won this race twelve months ago when the smart William Henry landed top honours, and the Seven Barrows maestro could collect again with DOUX PRETENDER (9/1, William Hill) who found a Grade Two at Cheltenham over three miles stretching him.

A winner of races at Towcester and Ascot previously, with the latter coming over this trip, the Great Pretender gelding remains unexposed over hurdles and may have been let in lightly on his handicap debut.

A five lengths’ victor over Renwick back in May, scoring easily, he was value for more than the official winning margin when beating Stoney Mountain latest despite hanging left on the run-in. That runner-up won next time out, and while he was no match for Rockpoint at Cheltenham subsequently in the Bristol Novices’ Hurdle he could do better back in trip.

He ran off a rating of 134 on that occasion, and stepping into a handicap here for the first time he could have more to offer if handling this much sharper track. He appeared to take a while to hit top gear at Cheltenham latest, not ideally positioned when the pace was cranked up a notch, but he kept on well nonetheless although he was always on the back foot.

This contest is normally run at a decent pace however which might help, and he has the scope to be a big player off this rating.

Nicky Henderson will bid for back-to-back wins in Saturday's Lanzarote Hurdle.

SOLOMON GREY (20/1, Unibet) is a very lightly-raced individual, having had just five career starts over hurdles for trainer Dan Skelton.

Skelton saddled Spiritofthegames to finish runner-up in this race twelve months ago, and the Sulamani gelding could give the trainer another big performance.

Three lengths’ runner-up to the classy If The Cap Fits on his hurdles debut at Bangor, he subsequently trounced Knocknanuss at Plumpton prior to finishing third behind If The Cap Fits here last Boxing Day.

Given a short break, he beat Oxford Blu at Market Rasen in February, and while he ran no sort of race on his reappearance following ten months off at Doncaster last month, he was entitled to have needed the run and he could come on a bundle for the outing.

That run took a boost when the third won next time out, and he could build on that reappearance effort to do better here. He has experience of mid-sized fields, and he has proven himself on different underfoot conditions; he may well have more to offer, and with the potential for further improvement as well as being sharper for his return then it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him posting a big run if taking his chance.


DOUX PRETENDER (9/1, William Hill), SOLOMON GREY (20/1, Unibet)

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2019 Lanzarote Hurdle tips - Two against the field for Saturday's feature race at Kempton

Brian Healy looks ahead to Saturday's Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton, and he picks out two against the field who should give punters a run for their money.

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