The race is named after Lanzarote the Champion Hurdle Winner in 1974 and is held at Kempton Park. This handicap hurdle race was previously ran over 2 miles, however from 2007 the race distance was changed to 2 miles 5 furlongs. The race was abandoned in 2001 & 2009.
Here are the trends and statistics of the race based on the last ten renewals.
- As you can see six-year-olds have had the monopoly on the winners count in recent years.
- There are eight six-year-olds in the race this year.
- The trends do not look favourable for Fergal O’Brien’s I Shot The Sherriff at the age of 11.
141 or higher: 3-4-27
130 to 140: 6-12-62
129 or lower: 1-5-41
If you concentrate on the 130-140 rating bracket again on Saturday it will narrow down the sixteen strong field to just eleven contenders.
10st 10lb+: 5-12-66
10st 9lb or less: 5-9-64
It is very important to note the excellent record claiming jockeys have had in the last ten renawals of this race, winning on four occasions. Four claimers line up in the race this year so you may want to keep a close eye on them.
Trainer Record (with runners)
Paul Nicholls (3-2-9), Nick Williams (3-0-7), Nicky Henderson (1-0-4).
5/9 had won one of their last two hurdling starts.
8/9 had run one to three times that season.
9/9 had won a hurdles race on a right-handed track.
Only one of the last nine winners had more than eight career starts under Rules and that runner, Yala Enki, had only three starts in Britain after arriving from France.
Previous winners have been priced between 7/4 and 20/1 with all bar one returning to single figures. Three favourites and one joint-favourite have won.
Diese Des Bieffes
Won his first two starts over hurdles and was five-lengths second to the well regarded If The Cap Fits over 2 miles at Kempton in December. Nicky Henderson’s five-year-old should be suited by the step up in trip and Mitchell Bastiyan takes off a valuable 5lb claim.
As big as 16/1 earlier in the week, punters believe this horse has a leading chance.
Bags Groove bids for a hat-trick in this Listed event but will have to race off a career high mark on Saturday.
He won over course and distance last month, responding well when coming under pressure, but this time he will have an extra 5lb burden to contend with.
Proven at the trip on a right-handed course, his runner-up finish behind Beyond Conceit last season has been boosted by wins from many of those in behind since.
Paul Nicholls considers him to be a chaser but he fell on his seasonal chasing debut at Newbury. This switch back to hurdles speaks volumes, especially from a trainer who has saddled the winner a number of times in recent years.
With the Skelton team still popping in the winners it is hard to underestimate the chances of the six-year-old Spiritofthedames who appears to have been laid out for this race.
A nice handicap win at Lingfield in November showed that the gelding had picked up where he left last season.
Alan King's River Frost finished ninth in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival and fifth on his seasonal return in October. The latter race was probably the most hotly contested hurdle race of the season thus far.
The same jockey and owner won this race last year so the six-year-old cannot be dismissed lightly.
His Cheltenham reappearance was pleasing enough and the Ben Pauling stable appears to be just getting ready to crank into gear.
The six-year-old is bound to be a popular each-way chance.
The Dai Walters owned eight-year-old reverts back to hurdles after an inauspicious start to his chasing career at Cheltenham.
He has won four of his eight career starts to date and he ran a close second to Wholestone last January at NH headquarters.
He is certainly a leading player for the Seven Barrows stable here.
Coeur Blimey won a two-mile handicap at Wincanton by eight lengths in heavy going last month, but jumped badly in the Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle at Ascot last time.
A better round from the Sue Gardner trained runner could see him on the premises come the latter stages of the race.
A winner on two of his seven starts in France, he already has career earnings of over £44,000.
He comes into this race on his French rating and is very much an unknown quantity, but Dr Newland and Brian Hughes have a good strike rate together this season so anything is possible with this runner.
The Lanzarote Hurdle is always a competitive affair and it is never easy to pin down the winner, however the J.P McManus owned River Frost looks the type to build upon his last run and give the green and gold team another big race success.
888sport suggests: River Frost (each-way)
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*