Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle: Green Glory gets green light
The Charles Byrnes-trained Irish raider was a bumper winner at last year’s Punchestown Festival and following some encouraging efforts in defeat in maiden hurdles finally opened his account on handicap debut at Leopardstown over the Christmas period.
That saw the six-year-old head the betting for this competitive affair, but inclement weather interrupting the ferry schedules had put his participation in doubt.
However, having battled the wind and rain, Byrnes reported Green Glory had made it to the Sunbury track safely and he can now look forward to seeing how he gets on in this £100,000 contest.
“He’s OK, he arrived at Kempton at seven o’clock Friday morning,” said Byrnes.
“They took him on the half eight on Thursday night, but they were waiting for an hour and a half at Holyhead going into dock, so instead of the sailing taking three and a half hours it took five hours. Then the drive down was windy enough. But he’s there now that’s the main thing and he should have enough time to recover.
— cbyrnesracing (@cbyrnesracing) January 13, 2023
“We’re looking forward to the race now, hopefully the ground doesn’t come up heavy, but it is what it is. He has a nice weight, but it is a step up in grade from a novice handicap to an open handicap. It’s a nice pot and he’s in good form, so we’ll hope for the best.”
The best of the home contingent could well be Paul Nicholls’ Outlaw Peter, who followed up a second in the Persian War by romping to a 19-length success at Exeter in November.
“I think he’s got a good chance,” said big-race rider Harry Cobden. “I’m not saying he’s well handicapped, but I think he’s got a good, fair mark and he’s in good form. He could be a horse that might just progress a little bit. It’s a big field, so we’ll have to have our wits about us.”
Harry Fry’s Dubrovnik Harry and Alan King’s Greatwood Hurdle third Harbour Lake are others high up in the Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle betting odds, while Dan Skelton has had this race in mind for West Balboa for some time and believes his seven-year-old has a “fair chance” of hitting the target.
He said: “I think she’ll like the track. I’ve had this race in mind for her for a while and I think she has a fair chance.”
Ben Case’s Cobblers Dream will attempt to become the first horse in the race’s history to retain the Lanzarote Hurdle as he reverts to the smaller obstacles.
Cobblers Dream wins an eventful Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) January 15, 2022
“He just didn’t jump as well as I would have liked over fences in his first two starts,” said Case.
“He hasn’t run badly, he just didn’t run brilliantly and it was either we continue pursuing jumping fences and hope he gets better as he goes along, or go back over hurdles and I thought we would do that and revisit fences if we wanted in the autumn. Timing-wise the Lanzarote suited and seemed to fit in if we were to go back over hurdles.
“You couldn’t say he has done badly at the beginning of this season and he obviously did well last year. It’s just we knew we were on an upwards curve last year and whether we have got to our handicap mark or not we’ll find out on Saturday. I think it will be quite hard work round there on Saturday, so it’ll be a test for everybody.”
Jane Williams’ string is in fine form and she believes 20/1 shot Hermes Boy could be ideally placed if conditions turn testing at the Sunbury track.
She said: “He’s got the right sort of profile for the race and we think he wants a bit more of a trip. He’s had a couple of really nice runs recently, his last two have been super.
“The horses are flying at home, he seems really well and this was always a tentative target for him. We’ve won it a few times in the past and it’s our sort of race really.
This is 𝗜𝗡𝗧𝗘𝗡𝗦𝗘! 😬
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) January 12, 2023
“The conditions are spot on and at the end of the day you can only train your own horse, so if you think the conditions are right then you have to give it a go.
“We’re lucky we just got in at the weights, we’re a bit on the low side and we would prefer to be a bit higher in the weights. But actually, if the ground does come up soft or gets really bad, our horses seem to cope with it and we have a nice weight for dealing with those conditions.”
“We were odds-on for his return and he had to win and then at Ascot last time he did it the hard way,” said Tizzard.
“It didn’t suit him making all and he was dossing and that. He made a mistake at the last and then battled back.
“So he’s done good and we just thought we’d have a crack and see where we are handicap wise.
“I think he’s got a manageable mark and he’ll love the ground. Two-mile-five round there on hard-work ground will be right up his street.”
Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle betting odds
9/2 Green Glory
13/2 Outlaw Peter
15/2 Dubrovnik Harry
9/1 West Balboa
12/1 Petit Tonnerre, Harbour Lake
14/1 Cobblers Dream, Quinta Do Mar
18/1 Stag Horn
20/1 Rathmacknee, Scarface, Hermes Boy
View the latest horse racing odds
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication