SWINCOMBE FLAME (2.50) looks the answer to a typically wide-open William Hill Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton run over the intermediate trip of 2m 5f on Saturday. Trainer Nick Williams has adopted a softly-softly approach with his talented mare, a winner of four of her five career starts, mostly on right-hand circuits. Swincombe Flame landed the odds at Wincanton on Boxing Day and the six-year-old can step up to the plate now pitched into this higher grade off what appears an attractive handicap rating.
LUCAINDUBAI (3.50) appears to have an easier task than of late. Evan Williams’ hurdler ran a solid race in fifth behind Ciceron at Sandown last time, having finished in the money previously at Ffos Las in the race won by fast-improving One For Joules. That form reads better and better given the winner’s subsequent exploits.
Feature event at Warwick is the 3m 5f Betfred Classic Chase. Stamina is the strong suit of NEPTUNE EQUESTER (3.40) and Brian Ellison’s improving stayer has a nice racing weight. His good run started at Market Rasen in September when third to Benny Be Good, and he stepped up again when winning at Haydock over 3m 4f. Neptune Equester was a bit below par at Wetherby on Boxing Day off his higher mark, fading into fifth, giving weight to According To Pete. He may have needed that run to put him spot on for this big prize.
At Lingfield, three-time course winner WHODUNNIT (12.25) is on a roll and his forcing tactics will have most of his rivals under the cosh turning for home. He bossed the race from the front when scoring easily here eight days ago and may again defy the handicapper.
TINSHU (1.00) finished fast off a quick tempo to snatch a Listed event over course and distance before Christmas and, with habitual front-runner Thunderstruck in the line-up, the race may once again fall into his lap.
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