Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle: Big Race Trends


Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle: Big Race Trends


The countdown to the 2024 Cheltenham Festival may now be well and truly on, but there’s plenty of high-quality racing action between now and the March jamboree at Prestbury Park. Saturday sees a trio of Grade 2 contests on offer from Wetherby, Kempton, and Warwick, but the best of the betting heats comes in the shape of the Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at the Sunbury-on-Thames venue.

2m5f is the trip for this hugely competitive affair, as a big field sets out in pursuit of the £100,000 in total prize money. Here, using data presented by newbettingsites.co.uk, we look back at the 22 editions of the race from the current century (no race in 2001 or 2009) and highlight the key stats and trends which may assist in picking out the most likely contenders.

Age of Winner: 6 is the Magic Number

Age of Winner: 6 is the Magic Number

The Lanzarote Hurdle is open to runners aged four and older, but no four-year-old has come home in the 45-year history of the race. Those at the upper end of the age spectrum haven’t fared much better, with the 12-year-old Fredcoteri (1988) the only horse to score having passed their tenth birthday.

Looking at the past 22 editions of the race (note that there are 23 results in our analysis due to the dead heat in 2006), the race has been dominated by 5 to 9-year-olds. The 6-year-olds have fared much the best, with an impressive 11 wins from 22 editions. No other group comes close to that 50% win rate, but extending the window to cover 5-7-year-olds accounts for 86.96% of the winners.

Weight Carried: Top Weight Up Against It

Weight Carried: Top Weight Up Against It

Ahead of the 2024 edition, the minimum weight for the race is 10st2lb, with the maximum burden the standard 12st. As such, the bottom two entries on the above chart would carry a little more if lining up this year. Nevertheless, results show a strong bias against those runners shouldered with a big weight. During the period in question, no winner carried more than 11st7lb on the day, with 16 of 23 winners (69.57%) carrying 11st or less.

Rating of Winner: Trending Upwards

Rating of Winner: Trending Upwards

The average rating of the winner in the current century is 131.60. However, from the above chart, we can see that this rating is showing a definite upward trend. This pattern is no real surprise, as the quality of the Lanzarote Hurdle has steadily increased in recent years, with the race being granted Listed status in 2013. Interestingly, the race lost its Listed status in 2023, but that doesn’t look to have hurt the quality of the entries.

Finishing Position Last Time Out

Finishing Position Last Time Out Lanzarote

When weighing up any handicap, it is always tempting to favour the in-form runners. You wouldn’t have gone too far wrong if following that strategy in this race. 50% of winners had also won on their previous start, whilst 63% had at least managed to finish inside the first three. However, that still leaves 37% who left a poor display behind to come home in front. A solid recent outing is a plus, but if a horse has other factors in their favour, it may pay to forgive a subpar performance.

Days Since Previous Run

The key takeaway from this result is that only two horses have managed to win this following a break of two months or more. Fitness from a relatively recent run appears to be a distinct advantage. Overall, 20 or 23 winners had run between 11 and 60 days ago.

Lanzarote Hurdle: Top Trainers and Jockeys

Only four trainers have won this more than once in the current century. Sitting on four wins since 2000, Nicky Henderson is the most successful trainer in the history of the race. Nick Williams and Henderson’s big rival Paul Nicholls come next on three, followed by Venetia Williams on two. Very little to go on for fans of jockey trends. Barry Geraghty and Will Kennedy are the only riders to come home in front on more than one occasion since 2000 (two wins apiece), and both have now retired.

AA and Susan Our Two Against the Field

Given their respective records in the race, it is no surprise to see the Nicky Henderson-trained Impose Toi and Sonigino from the yard of Paul Nicholls sitting atop the market. Sonigino won nicely last time out at Aintree, but with 12st on his back, he would be a major outlier on the weight trend if coming home in front. Impose Toi is harder to dismiss under 11st5lb, having run a cracker to finish second in the Betfair Exchange Trophy at Newbury. Already a winner at the distance, he would be our pick from those towards the head of the betting, with the 3/1 at Starsports being a perfectly fair price.

However, with most firms offering extra places on the race, the best value options to our eyes are each way punts on the Gary Moore runner, Hermina AA, and Nurse Susan from the Dan Skelton operation.

Gary Moore won this in 2007 with Verasi, and having also picked up the prize in 1996 and 1998, lies behind only Nicky Henderson in the all-time list. An easy winner over this sort of trip at Plumpton at around this time last year, Hermino AA is a good fit on the trends and suggested he may be coming into form when staying on for third at Cheltenham in December.

With a rating of 129, a nice racing weight of 11st, and a win last time out at Cheltenham, Nurse Susan ticks all the right boxes for those looking to support an in-form contender. The fact that her yard often hits the mark in these major handicaps provides further cause for optimism.

Hermino AA can be backed at 16/1 with BetGoodwin, whilst Nurse Susan is on offer at 10/1 with LiveScoreBet.


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