Follow the Star at Ascot

  • By: Nick Robson
  • Last Updated: December 19 2013, 11:55 GMT

Nick Robson provides a selection for every race on Friday and expects Raya Star to return to winning ways at Ascot.

Raya Star (right): Can bounce back to winning form
Raya Star (right): Can bounce back to winning form

ASCOT: 1.00 Medieval Chapel, 1.30 Rio De Sivola, 2.00 Irving, 2.35 Raya Star, 3.10 Andy Kelly, 3.40 Nathans Pride.

DUNDALK: 5.45 Ava Star, 6.15 Califante, 6.45 Vector Force, 7.15 Seanie, 7.45 Ned's Indian, 8.15 First Friday, 8.45 Stynes, 9.15 Shield.

SOUTHWELL: 12.10 Cantor, 12.40 Quadriga, 1.10 TEARS OF THE SUN (NAP), 1.40 Big Kenny, 2.10 Captain Secret, 2.45 Fortinbrass, 3.20 Waverunner.

UTTOXETER: 12.20 Blake Dean, 12.50 Wuff, 1.20 Ratify, 1.50 Cyrien Star, 2.20 Homer Run, 2.55 Dark Glacier, 3.30 Padge.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 3.50 Mon Petit Secret, 4.20 Have A Great Day, 4.50 Trinityelitedotcom, 5.20 My Time, 5.55 Huzzah, 6.30 Short Shrift, 7.00 Diamond Pro.

DOUBLE: Tears Of The Sun and Raya Star.

Alan King's Raya Star might take some beating stepping up in trip for the Grade Two Betfred Novices' Chase at Ascot.

One of the great hopes for Barbury Castle showed his love for the Berkshire course when winning The Ladbroke at this very meeting and has the ability to take high rank in this division.

Narrowly off the mark first-time at Uttoxeter, his last run at Cheltenham when outpaced behind Dodging Bullets proved he would not be up to winning something like the Arkle so King has wasted no time cranking him up in distance.

The feature event of the day was won by Simonsig 12 months ago and there should be plenty of other nice prospects on the card.

The Mitie Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle has lost its own Graded status but it still gives an opportunity for a class act to continue on his winning run.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Irving has barely broken sweat in his couple of jumping outings since arriving from Germany, including over course and distance, and he can make it three-from-three before graduating to bigger things.

Medieval Chapel carries the same Ronnie Bartlett colours as Simonsig and has a similar profile to the flamboyant grey.

A good winner of several Irish point-to-points, expect him to get swiftly off the mark under Rules in the Iron Stand "National Hunt" Maiden Hurdle.

Cyrien Star holds logical claims as he chases a four-timer in the Marston's Pedigree Handicap Hurdle at Uttoxeter.

It might be worth chancing that Trinityelitedotcom is ready to rock and roll after a break in the Best Odds At bookmakers.co.uk Handicap at Wolverhampton.

Tom Dascombe's sprinter appears to be better on the all-weather but he signed off the last Flat season with a win on turf at Warwick.

The worry, of course, is that he could need this outing having not run for 78 days but he faces a handful of rivals that may need further, too.

For instance Frontier Fighter has won over a mile, Iptisam has never run over less than seven furlongs and Al's Memory's last win was over seven furlongs.

This race is not quite over six so Dascombe's runner may just have too much pace.

It is interesting that Irish trainer Andy Oliver is sending over Have A Great Day for the 32Red Maiden Stakes.

In four runs at home, firstly at Navan then three on the all-weather at Dundalk, he has yet to finish out of the first four.

Races at Dundalk are mainly more competitive than winter maidens in England and it would be no surprise to see him go close.

Given Roger Varian's Tears Of The Sun had a run two weeks ago she should take all the beating in the 32Red Fillies' Maiden Stakes at Southwell.

Although not one of the stable stars, her last run when second at Lingfield showed she is up to taking a race of this nature.

The fact that Varian let her take her chance in a big sales race at Newmarket won by Wedding Ring suggests she had shown up pretty well at home.

Mark Johnston has reached for the blinkers on Waverunner in the Coral App Download From The App Store Handicap.

He was a winner at Bath on firm ground in the spring, and while this surface is very different it would be foolish to pigeon hole horses from this yard and she has been found a very weak race.

Johnston is operating at a near-40 per cent strike-rate for December and anything he runs at present should be monitored.