Kempton preview: Lanzarote Hurdle (14.35)
David Metcalf | January 8, 2016
Westren Warrior can take advantage of what looks a handy mark to land a competitive and classy renewal of the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton (14.35).
The gelding looked a smart prospect when winning on debut under rules in a bumper at Sligo last summer, but disappointed when pulled-up on hurdling debut at Exeter after joining trainer Dr Richard Newland.
However, Westren Warrior showed that running to be all wrong next time up at Southwell when an excellent staying on seven length second to Singelfarmpayment.
Westren Warrior worth a wager
The winner has since come out and landed a competitive 16-runner handicap at Cheltenham and is now rated 133, and that gives the form a solid look in the context of this contest.
Westren Warrior has since gone on to bolt up by 30 lengths in novice hurdle on heavy ground at Lingfield, and although what he beat is questionable the manner of the victory oozed class.
It was a performance which suggested the seven-year-old needed keeping firmly onside, and an opening handicap mark of 127 could well be on the lenient side given Westren Warrior’s unexposed and progressive profile.
Punters should find a place to Bivouac
Bivouac and Ibis Du Rheu hail from powerful stables, so looks obvious dangers.
The former is trained by Nicky Henderson and is bidding to give the Lambourn handler his third winner in the 2m 5f contest.
A smart juvenile, Bivouac looked better than ever when cosily beating Ruacana by a length at Huntingdon back in November.
The five-year-old has gone up 7lb for that success, but Bivouac’s revised rating of 141 should not be beyond him given that he was rated as high as 147 last season.
Nicholls contender Ibis De Rheu is highly-rated
Ibis De Rheu hails from the Paul Nicholls yard and has always been held in high regard.
The five-year-old, who was a winning hurdler in France, failed to live up to expectations in two starts last season but there was much more to like about his reappearance run when runner-up at Newbury.
Ibis De Rheu failed by just a head to overhaul Royal Guardsman, and that run should have put him spot on for this.
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Coral’s top tip: Westren Warrior could well have got in lightly, so looks worth a wager to land a classy renewal of the Lanzarote.