Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 15:34 09/01/2015
Lanzarote, winner of the Champion Hurdle in 1974, prevented dual winner Comedy Of Errors from joining an exclusive list of only five horses to have won hurdling's greatest prize on three occasions, and the ill-fated gelding ( killed when strongly fancied for the 1977 Cheltenham Gold Cup ) is commemorated at Kempton tomorrow afternoon in the Listed 2m 5f handicap hurdle at 2.40.
Thirteen horses are set to go to post for the £45k contest and the horse who makes plenty of appeal at the guaranteed 6-1 available with Bet365 and sponsor William Hill is the Warren Greatrex-trained Warrantor, the mount of in-form jockey Aidan Coleman. The six-year-old has had only the three runs over hurdles to date following a couple of promising outings in National Hunt Flat races and has shown enough to suggest that a mark of 135 could be on the lenient side for his first start in a handicap.
Being by the noted mudlark Turtle Island, the testing conditions at the Sudbury-On-Thames track should be right up Warrantor's street and with the step up in trip likely to suit the gelding is strongly fancied to go close with just 10st 6lb to carry. After pulling too hard on his hurdling debut at Plumpton last October Warrantor made use of that experience when getting up close home over an inadequate two mile and half a furlong at Chepstow the following month, but the 2m 3f trip at Market Rasen on his most recent start resulted in a much improved performance.
Sent off the 3-1 third favourite behind two decent types in Racing Europe and Weststreet in the 32Redsport.com Novices Hurdle the mount of Gavin Sheehan relished the extra distance, coming home an easy winner from the two market leaders and indicating that there was potential for even more improvement. Recent Towcester scorer Tea For Two and joint bottom weight Hello George are likely to give the selection most problems but under what look ideal conditions Warrantor can prove too good on his handicap debut.