Lanzarote Hurdle Tips: Whisky can pour it on at Kempton

Lanzarote Hurdle Tips: Everglow is the favourite at the time of writing for the Philip Hobbs team.
Lanzarote Hurdle Tips: Everglow is the favourite at the time of writing for the Philip Hobbs team.

Nick Seddon previews Saturday's Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton, a race which regularly proves to be a wide-open betting heat, and picks out his best bet...

While the addition of the rearranged Relkeel Hurdle has added some extra sparkle to the card, Saturday's feature race at Kempton is the Lanzarote Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs, a race which is often won by a smart performer, and almost always proves to be a particularly competitive betting heat. 

Indeed, ten of the past eleven winners have returned home at a single-figure price, with three of those being market leaders, and the current favourite this time around is the Philip Hobbs-trained Everglow. The six-year-old arrives here with an interesting profile as a novice, and he has shown plenty of ability in his three starts over timber so far, winning once.

That success came in good style in novice company at Ascot last month, and there's reasons to believe that there should be more to come from him now switched to handicap company, off an attractive-looking opening mark of 126. The fact that he made his debut in Grade 2 company at Chepstow in October hints that his connections think highly of him, and it would be no surprise to see him go close here. 

Four more who are sitting prominently in the market at present are Glynn, Shang Tang, Misty Whisky and One True King. The last-named is a 13/2 joint-favourite with Everglow at the time of writing, and he's proven productive in his first season over timber, winning twice from five outings.

He shaped well to finish second in two competitive novice handicaps at Cheltenham during the autumn, and deserves respect here on the back of that, though he'll need more in open company off a career high mark. Glynn is another one who's made a good start to life over timber, winning on debut at the beginning of the year at Doncaster, though he was held on his handicap bow at the same course last month, and this is tougher. 

Shang Tang has been a more steady model of progression so far, but things clicked into place when getting off the mark in novice company at Ascot in November. He looked fairly weighted when falling on handicap debut last month, and is worth considering off the same mark here, but more interesting is Misty Whisky.

A useful bumper performer, Misty Whisky took a while to get the hang of things last season, but she has impressed since returning on the back of a wind operation this term, most recently winning back-to-back events and Uttoxeter and Ludlow respectively. She'll be 8 lb higher here than for her success on handicap debut, but that looks fair when you consider that the talented Lorcan Murtagh takes 3 lb off, and there should be more to come from her yet. The Harry Fry team are in fine form at the moment, and it would be no surprise should Misty Whisky go close in this wide-open heat. 

Cheltenham Festival

Four more to consider are Solo, The White Mouse, Hunters Call and Castle Robin. The first-named was an impressive winner of the Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle at this track as a juvenile last season, but he's found life tough since, and struggled on handicap debut at Sandown last month. He has the talent to feature, but has to shoulder top weight in this, and the step up in trip is something of an unknown. 

Hunters Call is pretty lightly-raced for an 11-year-old, and he's proven to be a useful type since switching to Olly Murphy, finishing fourth in the Galway Hurdle during the summer. He's held his own particularly well in two similar contests so far this season and has to be considered off the same mark, while The White Mouse faces a tough task off a revised figure after impressive wins at Wincanton and Cheltenham respectively so far this season.

Like plenty in the field, Castle Robin arrives here as an upwardly-mobile type, winning a competitive event at Cheltenham in November. He ran well to finish second in a similar event off a revised mark at Ascot last month, but another 4 lb rise makes life tougher, while the six-year-old Polish has plenty of ability but doesn't always convince with his jumping - something which could work against him in such a competitive heat. 

Big Bad Bear is another progressive type to consider, while the front-running The Cashel Man has struggled so far this term, but would be dangerous if allowed the run of things now eased 2 lb in the weights. Mount Mews certainly has the historical form to make him a threat off his current mark, but it could also be worth siding with Amour De Nuit each-way.

The nine-year-old represents a Paul Nicholls operation which has won three renewals of this race since 2008, and he impressed when shrugging off a 617-day absence to make a winning return at Plumpton in November. He shaped as though he was lurking on a competitive mark when second in a similar event at Newbury last time out, and a 2 lb rise looks fair.

Indeed, that hike in the weights is offset by the booking of the promising Kevin Brogan, who takes a hugely useful 7 lb off his charge, and it would be disappointing if Amour De Nuit can't be competitive on these terms. With that in mind, he looks a good each-way bet at around the 14/1 mark to run into a place at the very least.

Selections

Lanzarote Hurdle, Kempton, Saturday 9th January - back Misty Whisky at 11/1

Lanzarote Hurdle, Kempton, Saturday 9th January - back Amour De Nuit each-way at 14/1

Lanzarote Hurdle
Misty Whisky silk

Misty Whisky

placed
Lanzarote Hurdle
Amour De Nuit silk

Amour De Nuit (EW)

placed
Cheltenham Festival Tips
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