3.40pm Pontefract Tips & Betting Preview 11/04/2017

A field of tewelve go to post for this marathon handicap at Pontefract on Tuesday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Medicine Hat is on the upgrade and should be taken seriously but the ever consistent OUR FOLLY can take this for Stuart Kittow and Tom Quealy. The nine year old was in good form over hurdles when last seen in October, winning well at Uttoxeter in September and he’ll have no problem stepping back in trip for this race. He wasn’t beaten far in a similar race at Chepstow in June off a 1lb higher mark and the better ground conditions will likely be big help. He can score at the expense of Tuscan Gold, who is likely to run an admirable race as he bids to go one better than last year.

1 MEDICINE HAT – Six year old who has been making huge strides of yet late at multiple trips, winning well at Newcastle on his latest start when comfortably dispatching Stoneham at Newcastle in March (2m, Std). Raised 3lb as a result but he looked to have something in hand and is a previous C&D winner, with that coming in October 2015 off 15lb lower mark. He’s improved heaps since then though and is entitled to run well for the in form Marjorie Fife yard with conditions to suit.

2 ROCK ON BOLLINSKI – Returning from a 179 day absence for this which is of concern, though this three time flat winner cannot be discounted if fully revved up. He took a good win at Thirsk off a 2lb lower mark three starts again August but was poor the last twice, well beaten at Redcar on his latest start in October. All his wins have come with ease in the ground and he looks on the back foot in this, as he’s entitled to need the run. Others far more convincing.

3 UNCLE BERNIE – Four time winner on the all weather, with the latest of those coming in November 2014 at Wolverhampton. He is however yet to win on the turf with no wins from eight attempts, though he has put in some decent efforts on the surface in the past. He has been in good form this year without managing to take a victory, staying on into sixth at Wolverhampton on his latest start (1m 5f, Std) and he’ll appreciate this step up in trip. Sound each way claims but does need to improve if he’s to win off this mark.

4 GRAN PARADISO – Well held in four flat runs including over C&D in June 2016, but he has shown better form over hurdles since then, winning at Sedgefield back in August before putting up three decent efforts elsewhere earlier this season. Not seen for 171 days which is of concern but he couldn’t be discounted for the placings with the ground into his favour and the Micky Hammond yard going well at present.

5 RIPTIDE – Eleven year old veteran who has put up plenty of respctable efforts over C&D in recent times, including in October when he was third in a competitive looking race. Not so good when last seen two weeks after though and he remains winless since July 2014, which tempers enthusiasm. He’s entitled to need this run and despite conditions being to suit, he’s perhaps best watched on this occasion for Michael Scudamore.

6 OUR FOLLY – Won over hurdles at Uttoxeter on his penultimate start and far from disgraced off a 6lb higher mark at Exeter in the same discipline a month later when last seen. He’s a strong stayer at this trip and placed off a 1lb higher mark at Nottingham in May 2016, which certainly brings him into the equation. He can go well fresh and is likely to go close for Stuart Kittow, who has had a winner in recent weeks. Respected.

7 HARTSIDE – Running well over hurdles this winter for Peter Winks which bodes well, finishing a close second at Carlisle in February. He’s shown some good enough form in the past on the flat and is a three time winner, though will need to improve on his latest C&D start in June 2016 when well beaten and a good way behind Riptide on that occasion. He’s 4lb lower than that mark this time around but others do make more appeal on balance.

8 LA FRITILLAIRE – Won three times in 2016 including over C&D off a 3lb lower mark on her penultimate run, though was poor when last seen at Catterick in October. She is entitled to get involved on the best of her form with the ground to suit but she usually takes a few runs to find her stride so would be entitled to need this for James Given. Place claims if near her best but looks vulnerable for win purposes on this occasion.

9 TUSCAN GOLD – Took a long distance handicap at Catterick in January over hurdles in a good effort and will be fully fit from his hurdling exploits which is a big help. He finished second in this race last season off an 11lb higher mark which is very encouraging and he goes on this ground which is another plus, though perhaps he’d prefer a bit of cut in the ground to show his best. If at his best though he’d have to be considered a chief threat and has to be considered.

10 HEIR ENCORE – Still a maiden after eleven attempts for David Menuisier, though he has threatened on a few occasions for the yard. He went close three starts back at Wolverhampton when headed on the post and also placed on the turf at Nottingham in July 2016 off today’s mark. Certainly not a forlorn hope with conditions to suit off this lowly mark with fitness under his belt and he is a lively place chance with Paul Hanagan taking the ride.

11 MADAM LILIBET – Placed in this race in 2015 and 2016, with the latter of those efforts coming off a 10lb higher mark which makes her hugely interesting in this for Sharon Watt. She did however have a run before and both those efforts were on softer ground, with her having neither of those for this tilt under Joey Haynes. She does go well on better ground though and has to be respected on the back of her previous efforts in the race, but she arrives in no sort of form and cannot be put forward on that evidence, with her also likely needing this.

12 DREAM SERENADE – Won over the two mile trip on the all weather at Wolverhampton in February, though that was a much weaker race than this and he looks to have it all to do in this for Michael Appleby. She was well beaten at Chelmsford on his latest start and she is still yet to win on the turf and may just be found out stepped up in class. Others make far more appeal.

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