3.30pm Pontefract Tips & Betting Preview 30/07/2017

The Pontefract feature race on Sunday afternoon is a small but select field, a Listed contest over a mile. Our expert tip and runner by preview for the 2017 Pomfret Stakes is below.

IN SUMMARY: Custom Cut has a little bit to find with a couple of these given the penalty he has to carry, but in this small field he will be dangerous if they give him a soft lead. Tashweeq ran a huge race when third in the Royal Hunt Cup, but flopping badly since in the Bunbury Cup since, it is hard to know which Tashqeeq will turn up. The softening of the ground will be perfect for GABRIAL, who has run his usual honest race at a higher level than this for most of the season. He is the most consistent runner in the field and as the most likely to run his race, he gets the vote

1 CUSTOM CUT – Winner of this race in 2014, he has already added a Leopardstown Group 3 to his resume in 2017. A mile on good to soft ground are his ideal conditions, this race looking perfect for him as the only front runner in the line-up. He has a five pound penalty to shoulder for that Leopardstown victory which is going to make things difficult given he is lower rated than a couple of these, but he should get a soft time of things on the front end and that makes him dangerous.

2 ANOTHER TOUCH – Shown further progression in handicap company this season, including when a comfortable winner at Nottingham in May. Has run fine in the past with cut in the ground, though his very best has come on quicker ground. This is a deeper level for him to prove himself at now, with plenty to find at the weights.

3 BATTLE OF MARATHON – Connections won’t mind even more rain for him, fifth in the 2016 Royal Hunt Cup from a mark of 110. That is no easy task from that kind of welter burden in handicap company, often easier to defy when off level weights at this level. He has been seen just once so far in 2017 when a well beaten last in the Lincoln on the opening day. That leaves him with more than enough to prove for now despite a stiff mile and soft ground in his favour.

4 GABRIAL – Grand old stager, he was beaten just a length in the Lincoln to begin his 2017 campaign. He has kept smart company at Group level since, unable to get his head in front but running to the level of his 110 official rating. He handles cut in the ground, with a stiff mile playing to his stamina strengths. He holds no secrets from anyone these days, but his consistency and top rating make him the one they all have to beat in this line-up.

5 TASHWEEQ – Well behind Gabrial at Sandown on his 2017 opening run, an effort easily excused as it was his first run for almost nineteen months. He ran a monster of a race to finish a close third in the Royal Hunt Cup but regressed badly last time he was seen, running no sort of race in the Bunbury Cup. Cut in the ground is no concern to him at all but his Jekyll and Hyde campaign in 2017 raises a sizeable note of caution over trusting him implicitly.

6 HOME CUMMINS – Enjoyed a successful 2017 so far, without being able to get her head in front. She was a close fourth in a lesser Listed contest over this course and distance two runs ago, before a smart runner up effort at York on Friday. This is much tougher and with an official mark of just 90, she has a fair chunk to find to trouble the principals.

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