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Saturday’s Racing Tips: Rolling Star can shine brightest at Ascot


The Ladbroke is one of the most valuable handicaps for hurdlers run in the entire National Hunt season and it serves as the feature on a sparkling day’s racing from Ascot and Haydock.

In the big one, our attention is certainly on the Nicky Henderson raider Rolling Star, who looks a cracking win bet at around the 8/1 mark. Henderson has a great record in this race, winning it twice in the last four years and stable jockey Barry Geraghty has chosen the selection over Henderson’s other fancied runner Chatterbox, which we feel is a very good pointer.

Rolling Star looks a horse that should progress deeper than just handicaps. He never quite looked fully ready to do himself justice last season as a four-year-old, being a beaten favourite in the Triumph Hurdle and then running a stinker when well backed at Aintree. But Henderson had reported the horse had strengthened up over the summer and he came back with a bang to win a competitive Haydock handicap in ready style.

The assessor has only bumped him up 7lbs in the weights and with the race likely to be run to suit, it will be disappointing if he doesn’t go close with our one point win stake.

The Mappin & Webb Silver Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot has a dead eight runners and we are sniffing out some each-way value with bookmakers promising to pay first three past the post as long as the eight stand their ground.

We’re swerving previous handicap winners this season Triolo D’Alene and Houblon Des Obeaux and putting our money down on the chances of the Paul Nicholls-trained Cedre Bleu, who looks to have a couple of lbs on the handicapper. Although not the most fluent jumper in the world, the small field and slow fractions should help him in that regard.

Still only a six-year-old, he won a nice handicap at Haydock last season off a mark just 1lb lower than what he races off today and if in that kind of form is the one to beat. The 5/1 as an each-way bet if all eight run is a belting bet. 3pts each way is the stake.

The Long Walk Hurdle looks at the mercy of At Fishers Cross after the withdrawal of Celestial Halo but it will be interesting to see if the horse has fully recovered from his mishap at Cheltenham.

Profit and Loss Record Staked: 96pts Returned: 91.72pts P/L: -4.28pts


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