The feature race on Monday’s Pontefract card is a Class 3 handicap over 1m. Our betting tips focus on an alternative to the warm favourite. Read on for the full race preview.
IN SUMMARY: Blair House ran very well in defeat at Epsom recently, is still lightly raced and will be a tough nut to crack if the added blinkers have any positive effect. However, the bookmakers aren’t taking too many chances with opening quotes at around 13/8 and a much better value alternative is IN THE RED. Richard Hannon’s gelding made a pleasing return from a long absence when second over 7f at Leicester last month and, although he wasn’t quite in the same form at Ascot on Friday, he looks overpriced at 12/1. Rainbow Rebel is admirably game and, after winning all four of his starts this season, he also warrants serious consideration.
1 Lazzam – Runner-up in a 1m Group 3 contest on dirt in Dubai in February and both British handicap runs over this trip this summer were fairly respectable, but something extra is needed to hit the target here; usually sports headgear of some kind but doesn’t today.
2 Blair House – Lightly raced 3yo who is yet to make any significant progress since his winning debut at Nottingham (8.3f, good to firm) in May but posted a very good effort when runner-up off today’s mark at Epsom (8.5f, good) recently, and first-time blinkers may squeeze out something extra.
3 In The Red – Ended 2yo season with two wins (1m/7f) and also ran well when second at Leicester (7f, good to soft) on last month’s belated return to action; not quite in the same form in 1m Ascot classified event on Friday but still enters calculations here.
4 Illustrissime – Won a 9.5f Polytrack claimer in France in August but finished last when upped to 1m3f for British debut at Kempton last month and is untested on turf; others have much less to prove.
5 Rainbow Rebel – Been in excellent form this season, winning all four starts, the latest at Hamilton (8.3f, heavy) nine days ago; another 6lb higher here but will be fine on today’s faster ground and his willing attitude is proving an excellent asset; commands respect.
6 Whitman – Generally disappointing since winning off 7lb higher at Ayr (1m, good to firm) in June; seemed to respond to first-time blinkers when third in valuable contest at Newmarket (1m, good) last month but was allowed to set a steady pace that day and it’s hard to predict whether he’ll build on that effort here.
7 Briyouni – One of two to pull clear of the others when scoring at Thirsk (7f, good to firm) in July but had to settle for fifth off revised mark at Redcar (1m, good to firm) the following month; soft ground a possible excuse for last month’s 14l defeat but he needs to bounce back with a new career best.
8 Tukhoom – Evidently suited by the strong gallop when clearcut winner of Goodwood maiden (1m, good) in June but looked very one-paced over that trip in first two handicaps and appeared not to get home when upped to 1m2f last time; this stiff track ought to suit but others might have too much zip.
9 Billy Roberts – Two wins this season, the more recent when making all in quite valuable contest at Musselburgh (1m, good to firm) in June; current mark might not be beyond him but his last two runs have been very disappointing and he comes here with some questions to answer.
myracing Forecast Prices: 13/8 Blair House, 7/2 Rainbow Rebel, 7/1 Lazzam, 10/1 In The Red, Whitman, Tukhoom, 12/1 Briyouni, 16/1 Billy Roberts, 25/1 Illustrissime