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La Estrella returns to favourite course at age of 14

La Estrella: back for more at Southwell on Friday
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4.05 Southwell
Betway Handicap | 2m | 4yo+ | ATR

La Estrella and Southwell, Posh and Becks, even Beyonce and Jay Z – they have their moments but all in all they are a match made in heaven.

At the age of 14, Don Cantillon’s stablestar returns to his favourite track, where he has notched 16 of his 27 all-weather wins, after a 409-day absence in the 2m handicap.

A recent morning on the Links, where La Estrella more than held his own alongside a filly who has subsequently been sold to Willie Mullins, told Cantillon everything he needed to know.

Cantillon said: “He was retired but I’ve been using him as a hack and he’s as lively as ever. A few weeks before I ran a filly at Warwick called True Self, who finished second, I ended up galloping her with La Estrella as the other bumper horse went lame on the way to the Links.

“Lo and behold, with a hunting saddle on La Estrella, the filly could barely get upsides him. He’s still got his racing head on and is so buzzy on the Heath – he’s uncivilised really.”

John Butler’s 13-year-old Stand Guard regained the title as winning-most all-weather horse at Kempton last month following a 28th victory, but Cantillon has no intention to try and take back top spot with La Estrella, who faces the four-timer-seeking Start Seven in the eight-runner £7,500 handicap.

Cantillon said: “As soon as I saw Stand Guard win at Kempton I accepted John’s horse had a stone in hand. Stand Guard will be all-weather champion but that doesn’t bother me.

“I just spotted this race, he’s an old plodder and he likes going to Southwell so we thought we’d have a day out. He’ll love it and if by some miracle he manages to finish fourth he might just pay for the diesel.”

He’s still got his racing head on and is so buzzy on the Heath - he’s uncivilised really

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