Star to shine at Wolverhampton

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Star Links was possibly a bit unlucky at Wolverhampton last time out but compensation awaits in the Ladbrokes Handicap back at that track.

The eight-year-old was a staying-on fifth at Dunstall Park on his most recent outing after hitting a bit of trouble in running as the race started to get serious in the final furlong.

He had previously run out a wide-margin winner when triumphing by six lengths in a very similar contest to the one he faces this time.

Shane Donohoe’s runner remains on his highest mark for some time but his recent fine efforts suggest he is still competitive and given he is pretty consistent on the all-weather, Star Links should put up a good battle once again.

Fat Gary is the choice in the Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Handicap.

He notched up a sequence of wins for Tom Dascombe in October and November, rising from a mark of 75 to his current perch of 85 in the process.

Two of those wins came over this six-furlong course, with a turf success at Catterick bringing up the middle leg of his hat-trick.

However, Fat Gary found life a bit tougher when upped a notch subsequently, having to settle for third after fading out of the finish in the dying strides.

That was still an excellent effort though and he was beaten just a length and a half, form which could be good enough at this slightly lesser level.

Ellaal snapped a long losing spell just before Christmas and can go in again in the Download The Ladbrokes App Handicap.

A winner as a juvenile for Charlie Hills, the five-year-old did not score again until dropped to a class seven event, where he won in fine style by three lengths.

That win should have done his confidence the world of good and while this represents a slightly stiffer task, Ellaal can finally start to shine off his lowly mark.

Mark Johnston had 216 winners in 2013, equalling his previous best, and Dame Nellie Melba can ensure the yard hits the ground running early this year at Southwell.

She hails from the family of Gateman and Lady Jane Digby among others and while she is short of that level, the Coral App Download From The App Store Handicap is well within her compass.

The Fibresand suits some horses better than others and Dame Nellie Melba showed she can act on it when winning by a hard-fought neck last month.