KING Harald is proving a real star for Mark Bradstock's Letcombe Bassett stables, near Wantage, this season, writes Russell Smith.

The ten-year-old notched his third win of the campaign with a gallant front-running display in a marathon four-mile handicap chase at Doncaster on Saturday.

Jumping well at the head of affairs under Mattie Batchelor, he stayed on gamely to beat Aka Jake by five lengths.

Now Bradstock has some big-race plans in mind for his charge, who has battled his way back from serious injury.

"He jumped for fun, but he loves this good ground," he said.

"I know he has run well on tacky ground, but he jumps better in these conditions.

"He still has one of four screws left in his leg after he broke it in a fall. We had to take three out as they were annoying him.

"It's the William Hill Chase at Cheltenham next and then I'd have thought the Scottish National would be the aim."

Mick Fitzgerald, who lives at Childrey, is hoping Afsoun can go two places better than last year in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle after his mount regained winning ways at Sandown.

Fitzgerald drove the Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old home by three and a half lengths from old rival Straw Bear in the totepool Contenders Hurdle.

Afsoun finished third in the Champion Hurdle last year, and the jockey added: "The favourite keeps changing. Sizing Europe and Sublimity are the front two in the betting, but this fellow deserves to go there now."

On the Flat, Hook Norton trainer Peter Hiatt enjoyed a brace of winners with Mulberry Lad and Blue Hills in the past week.

Chris Catlin, who lives at Kingston Lisle, near Wantage, powered Mulberry Lad home from Tang and Plateauin a finish of shorts heads in a Lingfield seller.

And Phillip Makin was aboard as Blue Hills beat George Henson by a neck in a handicap over a mile and six furlongs at Southwell.

Starstruck Peter made a winning debut for Sean Curran's Hatford stables, near Stanford-in-the-Vale, with victory at Wolverhampton.

The four-year-old had been unplaced in six starts when trained by Jimmy Coogan in Ireland.

But he left that form behind to beat Chiff Chaff by a length under Paul Doe in a handicap over an extended two miles.

Curran was quick to praise Doe for a cracking ride, and also gave the credit for the win to Martin Brew, who recommended the horse to him.

A memorial service for former Oxfordshire trainer John Bosley, who died last week, aged 77, will take place at St Mary's Church, Uffington, on Tuesday, February 26 (2pm).