Monday’s Pontefract card stages an interesting Listed race for 2yos over 1m. Read our horse-by-horse race preview for our experts’ best value betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: D’bai sets a good form standard, having finished third in Group 2 company last month, but we can’t be sure he’ll be suited by the soft ground here and there might be some each-way value in REACHFORTHESTARS, who also has form in Group company and is well equipped to handle today’s conditions. Good Omen came good at the third attempt, at Bath last month, and there’s every chance he’ll cope with today’s rise in class. Riding arrangements suggests once-raced winner Dowayla is Godolphin’s second string, but she still enters calculations.
1 Al Hamdany – Raced exclusively on Polytrack to this point (four starts) but produced a good performance when winning a Class 4 nursery at Kempton (1m) last month and looks worth his place in this line-up on that evidence; chance clearly depends on him proving he’s effective on soft turf, though.
2 D’bai – Godolphin-owned colt with good pedigree; didn’t need to improve upon debut form to gain narrow-margin win in Newmarket maiden (7f, good to firm) in July and was a creditable third in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster (7f, good) last month; has a big part to play if suited by the increased emphasis on stamina here.
3 Forest Ranger – Came from off the pace to gain comfortable success on debut at Redcar (7f, good to firm) last month; the bare form is not anything to get too excited about and his ability to handle soft ground needs to be taken on trust but his pedigree suggests today’s longer trip will suit, and he has obvious potential for progress.
4 Good Omen – Beaten favourite when runner-up on first two starts but came good when beating a fairly useful rival by 5l at Bath (1m, good to soft) last month; up in class today but evidently well suited by the combination of a stiff track and some underfoot ease; no surprise if he makes his presence felt.
5 Monticello – Won over 7f on first two starts in June and went down fighting when close second over that trip in Listed company at Ascot (7f, good to firm) the following month; slightly disappointing when only midfield in a Sandown Group 3 on good to soft ground last time but probably went too hard in front that day and his best form gives him each-way claims at least here.
6 Dowayla – Out of a Listed-placed dam and kept on strongly to make a winning debut at Nottingham (8.3f, good) at the end of September; William Buick appears to favour the other Godolphin runner here (D’bai), but it’s impossible to rule out this unexposed filly.
7 Euro Nightmare – Delivered on debut promise when winning Carlisle maiden (7f, good to soft) last month and also ran well when second in a good-quality Ayr nursery (1m, good to soft) a few days later; further progress likely but she has quite a bit to find with the principals here.
8 Reachforthestars – Had to settle for second in run-of-the-mill nursery at Thirsk (1m, soft) two starts ago but drew nicely clear of the third there and subsequently finished a creditable fourth in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster (1m, good); evidently copes with soft ground and probably won’t be far away.
myracing Forecast Prices: 5/2 D’bai, 7/2 Dowayla, 9/2 Good Omen, 5/1 Reachforthestars, 7/1 Monticello, 8/1 Forest Ranger, 12/1 Al Hamdany, 20/1 Euro Nightmare