Kempton’s Lanzarote Hurdle in doubt with thick fog hitting Saturday morning
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Kempton will undertake a third inspection this morning at 11.20am due to heavy fog obscuring the track ahead of the seven-race card, including the £100,000 Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (2.40) feature.
The ground remains soft, good to soft in places after the 8am and 10am inspections, despite overnight lows of -4.5C, but weather conditions will need to clear before the opening race at 12:20pm.
Kempton race director Barney Clifford said: “Things are no better now than they were at 8am. You must be able to see the post half a yard from the grandstand of the judge, but right now you can’t.
“The fog is due to lift from 11 a.m. but that’s obviously completely out of our control, which makes it very frustrating. The ground is absolutely perfect, so that’s no problem.”
LAST KEMPTON Visibility had improved f @kemptonparkracei but the fog has started to fall again, meaning no decision on whether to hold the races is now expected until the 11:20 am inspection. pic.twitter.com/shQ1tQSXQZ
Warwick was also inspected at 8am, but racing was allowed to continue on the track after overnight freezing.
Temperatures hit lows of -2C at Warwick, with the first race scheduled for 12.40pm ahead of the Agetur UK Ltd Classic Handicap Chase (3am).
Warwick race director Tom Ryall started another lap just before 11 a.m. and reports no worries. A crowd of around 3,500 people is expected for the big meeting on the track.
The track remains soft (good to soft in spots on the pursuit course) and Ryall said: “I expect it to be quite strenuous, it’s likely to be sticky given the weather and the frost sheets down in some areas.
“The frost on the grass melted away throughout the morning and we were happy with what we first saw. We were quietly confident yesterday with the frost sheets down, but you never really know.
“There wasn’t too much fog and we were lucky in that regard because there was a little more yesterday.”
Green Book takes over in Lanzarote betting
Green Book was backed in favoritism in the feature Lanzarote Hurdle (2.40) at Kempton, shortening to 5-1 with bookmakers to usurp overnight market leader Marie’s Rock as the betting head.
The five-year-old netted a quick double at Haydock and Ludlow last month and is looking for his third on the rebound in the £100,000 contest.
John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
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Green Book: new favorite for the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton
John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Coached by Venetia Williams, Green Book now has two wins in four hurdle starts and will offset an 8-pound raise with the help of 10-pound claimant Ned Fox, who scored with the runner at Haydock.
Marie’s Rock, now the 13-2 second seed, offers coach Nicky Henderson his fourth contest winner since the distance was changed to 2m5f in 2007.
The seven-year-old mare will be looking to follow up on an impressive run and distance success on her last outing on Boxing Day, with Nico de Boinville set to ride.
Kempton 12:20 p.m. Cuban cigar 11-1 (from 16) 2.05 eldorado allen 9-4 (from 5-2) 2.40 green paper5-1 (from 6) 3.15 wish and hope 6-1 (from 8) 3.50 UK 3-1 (from 7-2)
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