4.35pm Pontefract Tips & Betting Preview 20/08/2017

A field of 6 go to post in this Class 3 handicap raced over a mile. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: This is a tricky little contest and the value looks to be with ISABELLA. She’s a lightly-raced daughter of Galileo and she makes just her third start today having broken her maiden at the second attempt last time out. She could be well-handicapped off a mark of 80 and she can get the better of Eagle Creek who has questions to answer following a gelding operation and a 106-day break.

1 EAGLE CREEK – Makes his first start after a gelding operation earlier this year which followed a less than impressive run at Newmarket. He came to prominence following an impressive win in a Lingfield maiden back in April but he still has something to prove in this better company. The yard are flying at present with a 25% strike rate and there should definitely be more to come from this Raven’s Pass gelding although he will need to show he’s improved for a 106-day absence.

2 LOMU – Has won three of his four career starts and arrives here on the back of a solid Class 3 handicap success at Ayr. He stayed the 7-furlong trip well that day but he will need to prove that a mile will suit him as well as sprint trips. A mark of 86 should be well-within his reach and he’s likely to be popular in this with good reason for a yard going well at present.

3 MORNING SUIT – Makes his 16th career start today and he looks to have found his level. He’s been well-beaten on his last two starts having finished down the field and whilst the longer trip may have not been ideal, he’s been well-held off just 2lbs higher over this trip. This smaller field may suit him better than big-field handicaps but he is vulnerable to less exposed rivals and he will need all of Silvestre De Sousa’s prowess to come out on top.

4 RASHFORD’S DOUBLE – Seeks his first win as a 3yo and he’s not progressed past marks in the low 80’s of late. He’s produced a couple of fair placed efforts but they’ve both come in weaker company than this and he could find this level too tough again. He’s up a pound following his latest effort and whilst the ground should suit, this may be a bridge too far for him.

5 ISABELLA – Nicely-bred daughter of Galileo who makes just her third start today. She made her seasonal reappearance earlier this month when winning a Thirsk maiden over this trip and on this ground which bodes well for today. The handicapper may have let her in lightly off a mark of 80 and with David O’Meara’s yard coming into form, she could be a real contender in this. Stall 1 is ideal and Joe Fanning could dominate this field on her.

6 PORTLEDGE – 4lbs out of the handicap today which is going to make a tough job even harder. James Bethell’s colt still seeks his first win having been well-held in lower grade handicaps and this step up to Class 3 company looks hopeful at best. The blinkers could spark some improvement in him and the smaller field will suit but others hold far better form in this.

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