2.15pm Pontefract Tips & Betting Preview 20/08/2017

Just the seven runners for the first at Pontefract on Sunday afternoon, but it is a fascinating juvenile contest with some nice looking types. Read on for our runner by runner preview and expert tip.

IN SUMMARY: Plenty of speed on with the three market leaders all liking to make the running. VISCOUNT LOFTUS looks the most stout of the trio, for a yard whose horses are always up for a battle. Awsaaf won well on debut on the all weather, but he was not able to repeat the dose on turf. Ginbar has been runner up on both starts so far, looking a little weak in the finish, he is going to have to up his game to get the best of a battle with the selection.

1 AWSAAF – Well schooled in advance of his debut, he broke to the lead, never looking back to dominate a Wolverhampton contest from the front. He wasn’t quite as good when trying turf for the first time last time out over the same six furlong trip at Chester. That was on good to soft ground so connections won’t want to see any rain falling, with this step down in trip looking a positive for him.

2 VISCOUNT LOFTUS – Enjoyed the quick ground more than his main rival when nosing to victory on his debut. Royal Ascot was a step too far for him on his second outing when well beaten in the Norfolk Stakes. The return to calmer waters is going to be to his advantage and with Mark Johnston knowing the family so well, he gets the vote with his main market rivals both looking weaker than him in a finish.

3 FEEBS – As with his half brother who was also in the care of Mick Easterby, he has been gelded before making his racecourse debut. That sibling didn’t make his debut until three, but he was runner up on his first occasion, before winning on his second start. His dam was a multiple sprint winner in Italy so although he doesn’t look the most obvious on paper for today, he’s worth watching with the future in mind.

4 GINBAR – Runner up on both starts so far, turned over when odds on last time. He attempted to make the running on that occasion, tactics that are going to be difficult to replicate with Awsaaf and Viscount Loftus in opposition. The cut in the ground there may not have suited him so connections will be hoping that the track stays dry. His full sister was the poorest that his dam has produced so what improvement there is to come is open for debate currently.

5 LOULIN – Half brother to Sharnberry, who was fifth in the French 1000 Guineas. His dam was a juvenile winner as are four of his six half siblings, so he is bred to make an impact in this initial season. David O’Meara is just 5/55 on the turf so far with his juvenile runners so he is best watched on his debut with previous winners in opposition.

6 MAGIC SHIP – Hasn’t seen out the race on either of his two starts thus far so a first time hood goes on in an attempt to get him to settle in the early stages. He comes from a successful sprinting family but is going to have to take a massive step forward on his third start to get involved. Should do better after this once he has a handicap mark.

7 SHOWMETHEDOUGH – Just nine days since he made his debut which is a slight doubt given such a quick turnaround for a juvenile. He ran a sound race, just a length behind the Windsor Castle fourth (that runner probably didn’t run his race however.) The winner is rated 93, making it a perfect 3/3 on artificial surfaces. Given that level of opposition, he looks a sure-fire future winner but whether he can do it so soon is a worry.

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