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Raya Star - Ascot 16/12/11

Raya Star (left) is a 40-1 chance for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

King hoping Raya can star in Kingwell Hurdle

ALAN KING, who has won two out of the last three runnings of the Kingwell Hurdle, is out to land Saturday's Grade 2 again with Raya Star and not Grumeti who was originally pencilled in for the race.

The Simon Munir-owned Raya Star, 40-1 for the Stan James Champion Hurdle, has been described by King as a model of consistency and followed a Listed handicap win at Ascot in November by finishing second in a Grade 2 there later that month.

He then produced a career-best effort to finish second to Darlan in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

King wrote in his column in the Racing Post Weekender: "His latest run in the Christmas Hurdle when second to Darlan
makes good reading and having had a small break he is fresh and well and is in great shape ahead of Saturday."

King's wins in the Kingwell - backed by Bathwick Tyres - have come courtesy of Katchit (2008) and Mille Chief (2011).

Read more from Alan King in this week's Weekender - out on Wednesday

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