4.20pm Pontefract Tips & Betting Preview 05/04/2016

IN SUMMARY: The most interesting runner is LORD BEN STACK (3/1), who hasn’t been seen since July but wasn’t disgraced behind Golden Horn in last year’s Dante and looked unlucky not to win his subsequent handicap debut. There should be more to come from his this season and he gets the vote. Last year’s winner Master Of Finance has some questions to answer at present but he’ll be suited by today’s ground and a return to form would not surprise. Silvery Moon, who finished second in this race in 2015, and top weight, Awake My Soul, complete the shortlist.

1 Awake My Soul – After a spell in Italy, he rejoined David O’Meara in the autumn and posted a decent effort when keeping-on third at York (1m2f, good to soft); soundly beaten in November Handicap a few weeks later but will cope well with today’s ground; in the mix if fully revved up.

2 Passover – Four wins last year, the latest when drawing 8l clear in quite valuable event at Newbury (1m2f, soft); further progress possible this year but subsequent 15lb hike up the weights could prove difficult to swallow and last month’s reappearance run (on Polytrack) was disappointing.

3 Hit The Jackpot – Dug deep to gain narrow success at Ayr (1m2f, good to firm) last June and subsequent close third at Ripon (1m4f, good) was arguably a new career-best performance; has very little margin for error off current mark, though, and would make more appeal on better ground.

4 Lord Ben Stack – Seen only three times last season but appreciated the drop in class and was arguably unlucky when close second on handicap debut at Haydock (1m2f, good to soft); back from 276-day absence today, but there’s a good chance we are yet to see the best of him.

5 Master Of Finance – Ended last season in poor form and also disappointed when reappearing on Polytrack last month; needs to get back on track but handles soft ground, has slipped to a workable mark and was the convincing winner of this race in 2015 (made all).

6 Silvery Moon – Chased home Master Of Finance on seasonal debut in this race last year and finished second again over C&D in September; not obviously well handicapped but handles soft ground; no surprise if he makes his presence felt.

7 Snoano – Useful as a 2yo but became disappointing last season and was sold out of John Gosden stable (for 21,000gns) in the autumn; down the field when reappearing for new yard at Wolverhampton last month and has lots to prove at present.

8 Invictus – Joined Micky Hammond (for 24,000gns) after winning in Germany (1m1f, good) in October and ran fairly well in two novice hurdles for new stable in February; it’s tricky to gauge how he’ll fare on this British Flat debut, though, and a watching brief is advised today.

9 Final Countdown – Didn’t get the best of runs when second over C&D in September and ought to cope with today’s ground, but contests at stronger race this time and has been absence since a moderate hurdle run in October.

10 Energia Flavio – Close third off today’s mark at Windsor (8.3f, good to firm) last summer but is yet to add to his two wins in Brazil in 2013 and has stamina for today’s trip to prove; down the field on last month’s AW reappearance and others have more pressing claims.

myracing Forecast Prices: 9/4 Lord Ben Stack, 5/1 Master Of Finance, 6/1 Silvery Moon, Awake My Soul, 7/1 Final Countdown, 10/1 Passover, 14/1 Hit The Jackpot, 16/1 Energia Flavio, Invictus, 25/1 Snoano

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