Tag Archives: Pontefract

Sunday Selections: August, 19th 2018

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4.05 Pontefract: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 

The betting tells the tale: this is incredibly competitive. So it surprises that there is a 6/4 favourite – a wrong one, in my mind. I feel top weight Completion is clearly a cut above the rest on everything form wise we know for now.

That can change, of course, but Completion’s own progress may not yet come to a halt. He’s been disappointing in his last two starts on naked form, however there are fair excuses for it. 10f seemed a step too far last time out and the Heritage Stakes at Royal Ascot a super tough handicap where defeat isn’t a disgrace.

Before that, though, Completion won in excellent style on his turf debut at Redcar and was a formidable runner-up in an ultra competitive Haydock Handicap. Those forms work out really well and the fact he ran to TS ratings of 84 and 92 this year already suggest he is up to his current handicap mark.

Conditions should suit today, he’s got a nice draw and is likely to be positioned not too far off the pace. With top pilot Daniel Tudhope in the saddle Completion has a major chance to find back to the winning ways today.

Selection:
10pts win – Completion @ 7/2 MB

Wednesday Selections: May, 2nd 2018

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Back in the winner’s circle after two rotten days: Slunovrat (3/1) went on to win at Nottingham in a thriller.

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4.30 Pontefract: Class 4 Handicap, 6f

Top weight Dandy Highwayman looks potentially overpriced dropping into a slightly easier race than when 10th at Ripon recently. That day he didn’t have things to go for himself with a wall of horses in front of him either.

However, Dandy Highwayman showed last season that he is capable to run to forms warranting his current rating off 82. He’s 2lb higher than his last winning mark but was really consistent last season where most of his races that he ran well in worked out quite well also.

The soft ground is a slight question mark – he has form with cut in the ground, so might be okay, though, ground as deep as today he only encountered once, which was the race a fortnight ago at Ripon.

A wider than ideal draw will make things not easy today. There is no doubt that a career best is required to win. Nonetheless, given he is capable to run to this sort of level, was consistent last year and is in a grade he can win in, I feel he is quite a massive price.

Selection:
10pts win – Dandy Highwayman @ 25/1 VC / ***Non-Runner***

Thursday Selections: April, 26th 2018

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5.55 Chelmsford: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 6f

Lightly raced Nathaniel son Mancini makes plenty of appeal here for a red hot yard. Off a seasonal break, with a jockey booked who rides pretty well for trainer Jonathan Portman, this race looks an ideal opportunity for Mancini to get 2018 off to a flyer.

The four year old gelding won a Pontefract maiden last July at the fourth time asking and was subsequently awarded a handicap mark off 73. That looks fair given the runner-up won subsequently and ended the season as a 83 rated individual.

Mancini flopped in handicap company in his final start of the year, though, that was a hot contest that has worked out incredibly well.

Moving down in class, this here looks easier. It’s his first try on the All-Weather, gut on pedigree could suit well. As Mancini already run to a TS rating off 77 when winning at Pontefract, I suspect he could be well handicapped off his current mark in what is only his second handicap start and overall only sixth career outing.

Selection:
10pts win – Mancini @ 13/2 Skybet

Monday Selections: 21/08/2017

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Disappointment with Lomu at Ponti today. Pulled his race away early on as was my main fear. Drop to 7f with pace should suit and this lad has still something to offer.

Still a brilliant week, with 6 winners from 16 selections for a 190.63pts profit. No complaints as the general positive form from spring has clearly translated into summer and hopefully well into autumn, the season I traditionally have struggled in the past.

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2.45 Thirsk: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

This appears to be an open contest with a good handful on seemingly handy marks, however the standard is set by Perfect Symphony I feel, who does not get enough credit in the betting for his last two performances.

He showed promise as a juvenile last year and continued this trend in two of three starts this year since returning to the track as a gelding. The last two at Pontefract, probably not quite getting the breaks when needed.

I loved Perfect Symphony’s most recent run a good month ago there over 6f, when travelling well but conceding first run by the eventual winner while he had to wait for the gap to open and show some elbows to go through, yet he found plenty once in the clear.

Step up to 7f for the first time should suit on pedigree, his sire has a really good record over this trip and the dam raced over further. He seems to settle well in his races so over-exuberance shouldn’t be an issue here.

Selection:
10pts win –  Perfect Symphony @ 8/1 Bet365

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4.15 Thirsk: Maiden Stakes, 7f

Naaeebb looks a wrong price. Yes, the form looks great, but he finished a long way down the field so hard to say he’s anywhere near as good as those promising individuals ahead of him.

Fair favourite should be the relatively consistent Dance Teacher. However she finds it hard to get her head in front and may find one better yet again.

I do not often go with an unraced newcomer and usually get burned, but given their is a clear lack of depth in this maiden race I feel Kevin Ryan’s expensive yearling Sacred Way is worth a nibble.

Fetched gns 115k as a yearling and makes a belated debut, already gelded. So things clearly didn’t go to plan. Nonetheless he is related so some fine individuals and if he can overcome inexperience and a less than ideal draw can win.

There is an interesting fact he has on his side: sire stats. Oasis Dream has a tremendous record at Thirsk with his 3yo offspring. So at 14’s I’m happy to back his son in this contest.

Selection:
10pts win – Sacred Way @ 14/1 Skybet

Sunday Selections – 20th August 2017

2000 Guineas Field going to post

Brilliant Saturday, two winners from five selections paid off handsomely! Impressive 7/1 Ripon winner Sole Mission was the highlight, but Alfarris drifting out to 4/1 and still landing the hot 4.45 Handicap at Doncaster was also quite enjoyable to watch. It’s been really a super week! Hopefully it can be concluded with a final winner today!

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4.35 Pontefract: Class 3 Handicap, 1m

Eagle Creek has to be trusted to have fully recovered from his injury that led to a dismal performance at Newmarket and it remains unclear how good he really is. A mark of 95 could still underestimate him but for what we know about him at this point in time looks plenty stiff enough.

A smarter choice given prices is Lomu in my book. Unbeaten on turf and the one time beaten in his four career starts on the AW he still ran well in quite a hot race.

He is improving all the time, won cosily at Ayr when seen last – a performance better than the bare form suggests. He was extremely keen early on, didn’t have quite a clear passage in the home straight and still won going away.

Stepping up in trip to 1m is not a concern on pedigree. He’s certainly every chance to get it, no doubt. I’m more concerned about his keenness. He may have run his race before it really starts. Also his hold-up style at track that favours strong front-runners with the main rival being one of those potentially is dangerous.

Nonetheless it is worth a crack as Lomu appears to be open to any amount of improvement tackling the new trip. He gets a bit more mature as well as hopefully with experience settles better.

Selection:
10pts win – Lomu @ 11/4 Bet365

Sunday’s Racing Talk

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Mondialiste won the Arlington Millionen – what a job by David O’Meara yet again, giving this horse every chance to score at the highest level. This trainer knows how to get the most out of his stock!

Mondialiste would certainly not be able to win a Group 1 in the UK or Ireland, but against slightly lesser opposition, he took full advantage of conditions to suit him down to the grounds at Chicago last night.

Sure, the lasix treatment helps – let’s not be fooled, it’s not only the good hay and sunny air in North America that sees this horse improve so dramatically.

On his three visits to the US, Mondialiste now won two major Grade 1’s and was a fast finishing runner-up behind Tepin in another one.

That could be surprising, but given lasix as race day medication is clearly performance enhancing, with quite often dramatically positive effects on European trained horses, it’s actually not a surprise.

But take nothing away from trainer and horse  – the rules are there for everyone and David O’Meara plays within them. So well done!

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2.55 Deauville: Prix Jacques Le Marois (Group 1)

What a race in prospect! Several classy milers go to post at Deauville this afternoon and that makes it hard to pick a winner.

2000 Guineas hero Galileo Gold is the 7/4 favourite and has the form in the book to have a big say once again, though the has been on the go for a while now and this might be one race too many.

He meets Godolphin’s Ribchester again, who was a strong finishing third, only a shoulder behind Galileo Gold, in the Sussex Stakes last month. Ribchester is rapidly improving and a first top level success looms large.

Last years winner Esoterique has had a quiet year so far, though a recent fourth in the Prix Rothschild promises an upward form curve.

Vadamos already scored twice in Group company this year and rates a big danger – whether he is quite up to Group 1 standard remains to be seen. However he beat Ervedeya on her seasonal debut back in May.

These two go head to head here today – Vadamos with better recent form. Ervedeya, a three times Group 1 winner, seemed to need the run on reappearance but was a surprising no-show in the Queen Anne Stakes. She has to be back to her best to feature today.

That says I keep faith with her. She’s a brilliant filly on her day and if she can improve from those last two runs she must have a proper chances of beating the boys here.

Selection: Ervedeya @ 8/1 Ladbrokes

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2.15 Pontefract: Sky Gypsy @ 12/1 Coral: Sire Dandy Man with 100 place strike race with two years olds as this odd track, from a limited sample size, yet seemingly significant enough to have a punt.

Friday Bet – Keep In Line Can Go Close

Twilight Son

3.45 Ascot: Class 3 handicap, 1m 4f

Tight and competitive field, with plenty of horses in with a chance to go close. But I believe Godolphin’s three year old colt Keep In Line is overpriced.

He has still not too much mileage on the clock and room for further improvement. It probably is fair to draw a line through his most recent run at Pontefract, where had to overcome a wide draw, was keen early on, and travelled always wide. He made a big move turning for home five wide but eventually didn’t handle the undulations of the Pontefract home straight at all.

He can race off the same mark again here, which is 4lb higher than his last win which came on his penultimate start at Windsor in softish conditions. So he shouldn’t mind the testing conditions at Ascot. He won with a bit in hand that day, therefore I believe it’s fair to give him another chance now, given that the draw is much kinder and the conditions very much likely to suit.

Keep In Line @ 8/1 Betfred – 5pts Win