Cheltenham: Henderson contender has star quality

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NICKY Henderson can make it a trio of wins in five years in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham today through Rolling Star, who fits the mould of Soldatino and Zaynar as a lightly-raced French recruit.

Both of those had barely been seen on these shores, and Rolling Star has appeared only once, but he made a big impression when quickening away from Irish Saint in what looked a match-race at this course in late January.

Henderson can strike again later on, with Utopie Des Bordes taking advantage of her 7lb mares’ allowance in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

While unbeaten in two starts in Britain, it is her earlier form in France which merits close attention. During an extremely fruitful autumn, she concluded her campaign with Francois Cottin by landing the most prestigious four-year-old chase at Auteuil – the Prix Maurice Gillois – and beating one-time Arkle hope Fago by six lengths.

Princeton Plains is worth following in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle at a rewarding price. After a win on the Flat in June, Eddie Harty’s gelding got too far back at Galway and was only just defeated at Killarney and Listowel, before he returned from a break in the Ladbroke at Ascot, finishing promisingly from the rear for sixth.

There does not look to be a new star in the field for the CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup, meaning Salsify can retain his crown.

SELECTIONS

Cheltenham

1.30 Rolling Star

2.05 Princeton Plains

2.40 Utopie Des Bordes

3.20 Silvianaco Conti (nap)

4.00 Salsify

4.40 Gevrey Chambertin

5.15 Renard

Fakenham

1.45 Priors Gold

2.20 Deciding Moment

2.55 Fine Parchment

3.35 Teshali

4.15 Dreamy George

4.55 Flaming Arrow

Lingfield

1.55 Devout

2.30 Ambleside

3.05 Conducting

3.45 Club House

4.25 Limit Up

5.05 Amosite

5.40 Nellie Bly

Wolverhampton

5.25 Cabal

5.55 Flying Tempo

6.25 John Potts

7.00 Tartan Jura

7.30 Is This Love

8.00 Blue Noodles

8.30 Jonnie Skull

9.00 Needwood Park

Double

Silvianaco Conti

3:20 Cheltenham

Princeton Plains

2:05 Cheltenham