Harvey Mayson's top tips for Lanzarote Hurdle Day 2019
12.20 – Unibet Juvenile Hurdle (RTV)
Nicky Henderson has his usual strong team of juveniles and is represented here by Chaparral Prince. He was disappointing on the flat when trained by Charles Hills but wind surgery seemed to bring about an improvement here over Christmas. He was runner-up to Beat The Judge and looks capable of winning over hurdles before too long.
Alan King saddles Tiffin Top and Running Cloud with Wayne Hutchinson aboard the former. Tiffin Top was placed on the flat for John Gosden and shaped well on his hurdling bow when fourth at Taunton recently. Flaminger is a French import trained by Gary Moore, runner-up in a minor affair in his native country in September.
- Tip: TIFFIN TOP to win
12.55 – 32Red.com Novices’ Hurdle (RTV)
Lomachenko won a Leicester Maiden Hurdle by six lengths for Nicky Henderson last month. That was his first run since a wind operation in October and showed a clear improvement on his previous efforts. Bailarico ran up a sequence of five handicap victories on the flat last summer for Warren Greatrex. He started his NH career with a walk over at Leicester before finishing third of four to Dark Episode at the same track.
Larkbarrow Lad was beaten a head at Huntington in November before chasing home Ask Dillon at Ascot. He finished six lengths clear of the third and this three-mile trip should be within his compass. He receives a handy 6lbs from Lomachenko.
- Tip: LARKBARROW LAD to win
1.30 – Unibet Download The App Handicap Chase (RTV)
Amour De Nuit tops the weights here for Paul Nicholls. He won a novices’ chase here in May and has enjoyed handicap success at Ludlow and Doncaster. He was surprisingly beaten at long odds-on at Leicester last month when unable to repel the challenge of Desirable Court. Both horses quickened after the last that day and he can regain the winning thread with only three rivals. He must concede almost a stone to Poker School who reappears quickly after finishing third to Darebin at Sandown last weekend.
- Tip: AMOUR DE NUIT to win
2.05 – 32Red Casino Chase (ITV4)
As widely anticipated, the likelihood of fast ground has led to the defection of top rated Waiting Patiently. A thrilling race is still in prospect with Charbel and Top Notch locked together in the official ratings.
Charbel looked an exciting young chaser when falling 2 out in the 2017 Arkle Chase at Cheltenham. He has taken a long time to recapture his form but it is difficult to find fault with his last three efforts. He beat subsequent BetVictor Gold Cup winner Baron Alco when conceding 12lbs at Chepstow in October. Charbel then forced Politologue to pull out all the stops at Ascot before winning the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon by eight lengths.
Market rival Top Notch is one of the most consistent horses in training. Nicky Henderson’s gelding has won 13 of his 24 races and been placed in all but three of the remainder. He will be sharper for his run over hurdles before Christmas when third to the smart Paisley Park in the Long Walk Hurdle. In an ideal world, both horses would like a bit more juice in the ground. Black Corton is likely to find everything happening a bit too quickly over a trip short of his best.
- Tip: CHARBEL to win
2.40 – Unibet Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (ITV4)
The big betting race of the day is the £45,000 Lanzarote Hurdle with a very competitive field of fifteen runners. There are six last-time-out winners in the line-up with Kloud Gate at the head of the market for Gary Moore. The seven-year-old is a completely different proposition to last season, romping to victories at Leicester and Doncaster. He has confirmed the improvement that he showed on the flat in the summer, notably when runner-up in the JLT Cup at Newbury. The fast ground is perfect for him but he is racing off a 19lbs higher mark than when successful at Leicester.
The ground is a concern for Darling Maltaix who got off the mark at the tenth attempt for Paul Nicholls in soft ground at Ascot. He was held up off the pace and was able to cut through the field before being driven out to win by four lengths. He has been raised 12lbs as a result. Erick Le Rouge repelled Mellow Ben over course and distance last time and there should be little between them.
The value bet could be Big Time Dancer, a 10 lengths winner at Doncaster on good to firm ground last month. He has gone up 9lbs but that is reduced by the 5lbs claim of Jonjo O’Neill Jnr and he makes each-way appeal at long odds in a wide open race.
- Tip: BIG TIME DANCER each-way
Result: Won 16-1
3.15 – Unibet Handicap Chase (ITV4)
Barney Dwan started favourite when third to Yala Enki at Bangor in November. He has proved expensive to follow in the past but he could still make his mark over fences. His best effort over hurdles was finishing second to Presenting Percy in the Pertemps Final at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.
Ballykan was runner-up in a valuable handicap chase here a year ago and has filled the same spot in both subsequent outings. He was no match for Midnight Shot at Fakenham last time. Glen Rocco looks dangerous off bottom weight, a staying on second to Glen Forsa over course and distance on Boxing Day. He has been raised 3lbs but still receives 24lbs from top weight Josses Hill who is without a victory for over two years.
- Tip: GLEN ROCCO to win
Result: Won 11-4
3.45 – Unibet Handicap Hurdle (RTV)
The finale is a tricky handicap hurdle over two miles. Eddiemaurice won well here last month and is up 6lbs. Oakley won a novices’ hurdle at Ludlow from Cervaro Mix and does not look harshly treated on his handicap debut. Magic Dancer was disappointing at Cheltenham last time behind Al Dancer but is another with previous course form.
Speed Company is yet to win in five attempts over hurdles but ran well last time at Doncaster behind Flash The Steel. He cruised into contention but did not find a great deal off the bridle. He will wear a tongue-strap for the first time this weekend.
- Tip: EDDIEMAURICE to win
For more selections, check out our daily racing tips or subscribe to our best horse racing tipster.