The Lanzarote Hurdle is the feature race at Kempton on the second Saturday of January. The 2013 renewal was won by Oscara Dara under Barry Geraghty. The Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival is a possible target for the winner.
Lanzarote Hurdle Result 2013
1. 4 Oscara Dara (B J Geraghty, 5-1 2nd-fav)
2. 18 Romeo Americo (W P Kavanagh, 100-1 )
3. 14 Buck Magic (D C Costello, 6-1 )
4. 6 Araldur (R Thornton, 14-1 )
18 ran. 2 Black Thunder (Mr H Derham, 9-2 fav)
Distances: 3½ lengths; ½ length; 5 lengths; Winning trainer: N J Henderson.
Lanzarote Hurdle Trends 2007-2013
The race has only been run in its present format as a handicap over two miles five furlongs since 2007 and as such the period for trends analysis only extends back six years. As there was no race in 2010 there are only six renewals to consider.
In that shortened period the main trends are:
Age : 4 six year old winners
Trainer/Jockey : Nick Williams has trained and Will Kennedy ridden two of the last three winners
Rating : Last 6 winners in a band between 123 and 144
Weight : Just two winners have carried more than 10-11
Fate of Favourite : F 1 2 - 1 5
Lanzarote Hurdle Winners 2007-2012
The winners of the Lanzarote Hurdle since 2007 have been.:
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
James de Vassy (Fr)
Micheal Flips (Ire)
The race remembers the 1974 Champion Hurdle winner Lanazarote. The BHA website tells the Lanzaraote Story:
Lanzarote's finest moment was his defeat of big rival Comedy Of Errors in the Champion Hurdle. Comedy Of Errors was the reigning champion but was foiled by the tactical know-how of Lanzarote's trainer Fred Winter and jockey Richard Pitman.
Calzado ran as a pacemaker for Lanzarote, setting a strong gallop which helped to draw the sting from Comedy Of Errors. Pitman committed his mount from a long way out and Comedy Of Errors, who appeared to be cruising with two flights to jump, had no answer up the punishing Cheltenham hill. Lanzarote bravely answered every call and had three lengths to spare at the line.
The result was a surprise but not a shock as it was Lanzarote's 10th consecutive victory. However, Comedy Of Errors was not at his best that day and he generally held sway in subsequent battles, notably when becoming the only horse to regain the Champion Hurdle crown the following year, with Lanzarote unplaced. Lanzarote raced in the colours of Lord Howard de Walden, the renowned Flat owner-breeder, who happened upon a major success story in the jumps sphere almost by accident. Lord Howard made unsuccessful attempts to offload the horse, who had won only a long-distance maiden race on the Flat, but reluctantly was forced to send him to Fred Winter "to see if he could jump".
Winter, the master trainer, found a willing pupil and Lanzarote proved one of the best hurdlers during the 1970s, which is regarded as the golden age of hurdling, and among the top ten of all time. Kempton was a favourite hunting ground for Lanzarote, who won the Imperial Cup and two Christmas Hurdles at the track. Other notable victories included the Welsh Champion Hurdle and he finished his hurdling career with 20 wins from 33 starts, plus six placed efforts.
Lanzarote went chasing in the 1976/77 season and looked a natural over the bigger obstacles, recording three stylish wins before starting second favourite for the 1977 Cheltenham Gold Cup. The story had an unhappy ending, however, as he slipped after jumping the ninth fence, broke his near-hind leg and had to be destroyed.