Past Winners » Yala Enki


I am backing Yala Enki in the Lanzarote Hurdle. I still think that he is over-priced at 9/2.

I thought about backing him ante post on Wednesday, but he had four or five other entries over the weekend, and there was no way of knowing that the Lanzarote Hurdle was his target. Even after he was declared on Thursday, there was still a chance that he would go to Chepstow instead. Anyway, here he is at Kempton, and he is worth backing.

Just beaten by Doctor Phoenix at Uttoxeter in March on his British debut, he was really impressive in winning on his debut this season at Exeter, beating Duke Des Champs by 16 lengths. Duke Des Champs then won his maiden hurdle, and finished a good second in a good conditional riders’ handicap hurdle at Ascot’s Long Walk Hurdle meeting. He is now rated 135, and Yala Enki gets to race today off a mark of 130, despite the fact that he beat Philip Hobbs’ horse by 16 lengths at level weights.

Yala Enki has run once since then, in the Fixed Brush Hurdle at Haydock in November when we had him on side, and he could only finish fifth. However, there were excuses. They went really fast up front that day, and Yala Enki was up with the fast pace until he faded in the home straight. He did well to keep on as well as he did for fifth place.

That was over two miles and seven furlongs, so the drop back down to two miles and five furlongs today is a positive. He goes well on soft ground, and he is potentially really well handicapped on a mark of 130. He has the potential to go a fair way higher than that. As a bonus, the talented Charlie Deutsch takes off 5lb.

Ibis Du Rheu and Bivouac and Westren Warrior are all dangers, but I am very happy to give Yala Enki another chance under these conditions at the price.

YALA ENKI WON (ADV 9/2, SP 11/4)