OLD Guard heads a field of 14 horses declared for tomorrow’s 32Red Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton.
The six-year-old won both the Greatwood Hurdle and the International Hurdle at Cheltenham last season and while he kicked off the current campaign over fences, he soon reverted to the smaller obstacles.
He was a distant third when defending his International Hurdle crown at Prestbury Park last month and must concede weight all round on his first start in a handicap in well over a year.
Nicholls also saddles Modus as he bids for a third success in this prestigious event following the previous victories of Nycteos (2008) and Saphir Du Rheu (2014).
Ante-post favourite Doesyourdogbite puts his unbeaten record over jumps on the line for Jonjo O’Neill and Aidan Coleman.
The five-year-old won twice on the Flat for trainer Andrew Hollinshead and has completed a hat-trick since joining O’Neill with wins at Market Rasen, Hereford and over this course and distance.
Jaleo made a successful start for Ben Pauling at Lingfield last month and is joined in the field by stable companion Local Show.
Other contenders include the Venetia Williams-trained Bennys King and Lord Of The Island from Fergal O’Brien’s stable.
Nicky Henderson is not represented after deciding against declaring Protek Des Flos and Argante.
At Warwick, Paul Nicholls’ Vivaldi Collonges heads a maximum field of 20 for tomorrow’s Betfred Classic Chase.
Nicholls has not declared Virak, though, with others taken out at the declaration stage including Bishops Road, Regal Encore and Gordon Elliott’s Bless The Wings. Venetia Williams runs Houblon Des Obeaux, Emperor’s Choice and 2013 winner Rigadin De Beauchene.
Alan King has a couple of chances with Sego Success and Midnight Prayer.
KEMPTON: 12.20 Fidux, 12.55 Return Flight, 1.30 Nobuttaboy, 2.05 Vaniteux, 2.40 Jaleo (next best), 3.15 Abricot De L’Oasis, 3.45 River Frost.
LINGFIELD: 12.15 Pacolita, 12.50 Marshal Dan Troop, 1.25 Memories Galore, 2.00 Chester Street, 2.35 Pioneertown, 3.10 Trade Route, 3.40 Suitsus.
WARWICK: 12.40 Falcon’s Reign, 1.15 Ubaltique, 1.50 American, 2.25 Clondaw Cian, 3.00 Peregrine Run, 3.35 SEGO SUCCESS (NAP), 4.05 Champ.
WETHERBY: 12.30 Mount Mews, 1.05 Kilcrea Vale, 1.40 Thomas Blossom, 2.15 Ut Majeur Aulmes, 2.50 Argante, 3.25 Wolf Sword, 3.55 Cockney Wren.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.45 Rocket Ronnie, 6.15 Magic City, 6.45 Sund City, 7.15 Dream Farr, 7.45 Imdancinwithurwife, 8.15 Boost, 8.45 Warba.