Raya Star (6g Milan-Garden City, by Shernazar) defied top-weight of 11st 12lb to comfortably win the Listed William Hill Priority Prices Handicap Hurdle at Ascot on his seasonal comeback.
Last season’s Scottish Champion Hurdle winner, who was bred by Patrick Fennessy, has always been held in high regard by trainer Alan King and could now head for the G3 Racing Post Hurdle at Cheltenham on November.
“He was carrying a lot of weight but I’m thrilled and I hope that I left a little to work on,” King told www.sportinglife.com. “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.”