3.30pm Pontefract Tips & Betting Preview 25/06/2017

An excellent contest, the feature of the Sunday card at Pontefract, a Listed race for fillies over a mile and a half. Read on for our expert tip and runner by runner preview.

IN SUMMARY: Hard to get away from ABINGDON here who has eight pounds in hands at these weights and looks destined to be taking on stronger company as the season progresses. Signe cost seven figures and it’s interesting that connections are willing to ruin her handicap mark to get black type this early in her career while Pure Art may be the tricast pick, a little short in terms of class but she should improve for this trip on a stiff track.

1 ABINGDON – Yet to be seen in 2017, but sets a clear standard at the weights, eight pounds ahead of her nearest challenger. The absence need not be a concern though as she won first time back last season at Ascot before claiming a pair of Listed races on good to firm ground at Newbury and York. She stays this trip well and from the Sir Michael Stoute yard, she is probably capable of better still so is a strong pick to claim another Listed prize.

2 COLONIAL CLASSIC – Just 1/8 on turf, when landing a handicap over this trip at Goodwood last August. That was only off a mark of 85, but she showed improved form on her debut for James Fanshawe in a Listed race last time. That was again at Goodwood, so the quirky switchback track clearly suits her, but she has plenty on her plate here.

3 LUCY THE PAINTER – Progressed well during 2016, climbing the weights a massive thirty two pounds. A third place finish in the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes at Sandown was her best effort last campaign but that was on good to soft ground. She is yet to win beyond a mile or on ground anything like this quick which tempers confidence enough to leave her alone here.

4 PURE ART – Unraced as a juvenile, she quickly made up for lost time for connections, landing a maiden at Lingfield on her debut, progressing through the year to end with a place in a Listed contest at Newmarket. She was a little disappointing on her return at Ayr, where she shaped as if the step up in trip and stiffer track would be beneficial. Should come on for that run and looks a solid each way player.

5 SHEARLING – Won three times from five starts in bumpers over the winter, closing out her campaign with a fourth in the Nickel Coin Grade 2 at the Grand National Festival. She has enough speed to make an impact on the flat this summer but starting in Listed grade is a tough introduction, it would be surprising if she were good enough.

6 SIGNE – A perfect 3/3 in her career, looking in need of this step up to a mile and half when getting up in the shadow of the post in a ten furlong Newbury handicap. That was only off 81, racing here with a rating of 85. One the bare face of it, that leaves her with an awful lot to find with Abingdon but trainer William Haggas said after Newbury, “we’ve always quite liked her. She wants a step up in trip and step up in grade” so it’s interesting that they are willing to destroy a potentially lenient rating for handicaps with a bold showing here.

7 TIOGA PASS – One of the more exposed in the line-up, she makes her 2017 debut now. Has no great record fresh so whatever she does here she is likely to improve for but she ran her best race last season on quick ground when runner up in the Group 3 Lillie Langtry at Glorious Goodwood so at least underfoot conditions will not prove a problem.

8 YORKIDDING – Running for the sixth time in eight weeks, she was only in action at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, when eighth in the Ascot Stakes. She is a dour stayer so Silvestre De Sousa will need to set strong fractions in front to test the stamina of those in behind if she is to win this but she loves to hear her feet rattle so will find the surface to her liking.

Please Gamble Responsibly