Raya Stars for King
Star claims another course and distance win
Last Updated: 03/11/12 3:14pm
Raya Star: Picked up another valuable prize
Raya Star picked up another valuable Ascot prize when landing the William Hill Priority Prices Handicap Hurdle at the Berkshire venue.
The six year old won the Listed Ladbroke Hurdle over course and distance last December by half a length and prevailed by the same distance from It's A Gimme.
Raya Star was racing from a 15lb higher mark than when successful here last season having also landed the Scottish Champion Hurdle in April.
Held-up in rear by Wayne Hutchinson as Fiendish Flame cut out the running, Alan King's charge gradually crept closer and was in touch as the field joined the leader with three to jump.
Favourite Ile De Re was prominent but driven while Claret Cloak, Monte Cavallo, War Singer and Ted Spread all caught the eye with the way they travelled in the fiercely competitive heat.
However, it was left to Raya Star and the Tony McCoy ridden It's A Gimme to battle out the finish as the other challengers wilted.
Claret Cloak ran a race full of promise in third, just ahead of War Singer and Street Entertainer - both trained by David Pipe - with the latter doing all of his best work in the closing stages.
King said: "He was carrying a lot of weight but I'm thrilled and I hope that I left a little to work on.
"He'll go to Cheltenham now, even though he'll be reassessed, and is settling better. I don't mind going up 5lb for winning a race like this.
"We'll then decide whether to jump a fence or not."