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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Confidence behind Ranjaan bidHeadlines
Ranjaan

Harry Herbert is used to going to the Royal meeting at Ascot but now he is heading there with a fancied runner in The Ladbroke, one of the most competitive handicap hurdles of the season.

Trained by Paul Nicholls and owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, the four-year-old Ranjaan missed the Cheltenham Festival through injury.

He has reportedly strengthened up over the summer and has been well-backed in the ante-post market all week.

Herbert, who represents the owners, said: "It's very exciting to be going with a good chance but it looks a very open race. It will be a mighty slog for all concerned on this ground and there are lots of variables, but Paul Nicholls has been very pleased with him.

"He has schooled very well and worked very well and we always thought last year he had the make and shape to be better as he got older. The signs are that he's made significant improvement.

"His joints were sore last year, which is why he's had the time off, and Paul has always viewed him as a long-term prospect."

If there is one horse in the race with pretensions of being better than a handicapper it could be the Alan King-trained Balder Succes.

"You need an improving young hurdler to win this competitive race and we got lucky with Raya Star last year but, whereas he went into the race rated 134, Balder Succes is off a mark of 147, so there is no doubt that he has the class," said King on his website.

"Balder Succes's third to Zarkandar in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last month looks pretty good form after last week's International Hurdle at Cheltenham. Our fellow has since won in the soft at Haydock, and I would not swap him for anything."

20 February 2017

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Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
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Don Poli and Outlander heading for Gold Cup
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Colin Tizzard set for nervous Cheltenham build-up
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19 February 2017

Acapella hits all the right notes in Ten Up
Place gets home to complete five-timer in Boyne Hurdle
Setback rules Identity Thief out of Navan outing
Josses Hill heading straight to the Festival
'Job done' as Yanworth battles to Kingwell Hurdle victory
Lion roars to National favouritism with Haydock success
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Tombstone floors Jezki in Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park
Zarkandar back in front as Nicholls dominates Rendlesham
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18 February 2017

Cue Card back to his brilliant best in Ascot Chase
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Yanworth battles to hard-fought victory in Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton
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Don Bersy bags biggest success yet at Haydock but Cheltenham off the agenda
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Sutton Place bids for Boyne honours at Navan
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Fairytale success for Captain Guy Disney in Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown
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Aux Ptits Soins in hurdling switch for Rendlesham test
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17 February 2017

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Dan Skelton happy to take Champion challenge with 'improving' Superb Story
Colin's Sister primed for long-range target at Sandown
Blaklion out to roar for Nigel Twiston-Davies in National Trial
Cue Card faces five in Ascot Chase

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