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William Hill

Ashes 2013: Mitchell Starc, James Faulkner and James Pattinson -

Australia are preparing to unleash a battery of fast bowlers to imperil England in the Ashes. The way their wicketkeeper and vice-captain Brad Haddin told it on Monday, it is as if they are keeping them in a locked cage on the Yorkshire moors, before releasing them to do their worst.

Botti backs Planteur to make flying Flat start by conquering the World

Having anticipated last week for so long, some Cheltenham diehards will be appalled to discover that a new Flat season opens at Doncaster on Friday. Others, however, will recognise that so rich a banquet can only really be followed by a total change of taste – even if Town Moor is set to provide conditions better suited to steeplechasing.

Cheltenham Festival: Take Zarkandar to zip in and steal former

By definition, with the last three winners all lining up, the field can only be rated as well up to standard. Yet the first championship race of the week somehow feels a little stale. Much of the form in the Stan James Champion Hurdle has an incestuous look, and would certainly have obtained a different flavour from a rising force like Darlan or My Tent Or Yours. Tragedy claimed the former, of course, while the latter has been restored to novice company in the opener. In their absence, the race becomes an aggregate of conundrums.

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Casey's Flemenstar seeks fanfare for common man

It is the moment of truth not just for Flemenstar, but for anyone clinging to the hope that he can restore the lost romance to jump racing. A sport increasingly dominated by wealthy patrons of a few top trainers today shares the tension and excitement suffusing the Casey family's tiny stable, just up the coast from Dublin, as Flemenstar attempts a new summit at Leopardstown. A first start over three miles in the Lexus Chase, in testing ground, requires him to disclose a doughtiness to match his brilliance. If he proves equal to the challenge, every neutral will join his connections in their dream of landing the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Long Run ready to battle for Star billing

This could prove one of those occasions when there is no point complicating matters. Long Run, beaten only by the record-breaking Kauto Star in three Boxing Day starts over the course, is much the most likely winner of the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton tomorrow. And while the retirement of Kauto Star, who won the race for a fifth time last year, suggests the time is ripe for a changing of the guard, it is surely premature to make too much of the anomaly that Long Run – in approaching only his eighth birthday – increasingly represents the old order.