4.40pm Pontefract Tips & Betting Preview 09/08/2017

A field of ten go to post for the sixth race of the day at Pontefract on Wednesday. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: The complexion of the race has completely changed with no less than six non runners from the ten originally declared to run which leads us to side with Jonjo O’Neill’s STANLEY. This six year old is certainly going the right way and, as well as boasting the best form of this field, ran a solid race at Windsor last time out over a similar distance to suggest that he’s ready to strike again.

1 ROUSAYAN (non runner) – Has been below par since a good start to the year for David O’Meara, finishing sixth at Thirsk when last seen, but still beaten a fair way. He remains on the same mark and although a return to softer conditions will suit, it’s hard to get excited by his chances as he doesn’t win often (two wins from 31 starts). The David O’Meara team is out of sorts at present, with only one winner from their last 71 so others are readily preferred.

2 DUTCH ART DEALER – On the same mark as when winning on the All Weather back in January, but he’s better on that surface and has been well beaten the last thrice since returning to the grass. He showed very little when always in the rear at Doncaster 39 days ago and he’ll need to improve markedly on that performance to be featuring here under David Nolan. He’s hard to recommend despite the Ivan Furtado yard being in red hot form at present.

3 ECHO OF LIGHTENING – Given the run of the race when winning at Musselburgh on his penultimate start and a five pound rise was enough to see him well beaten at the same venue on Friday. He remains on the same mark and won’t be allowed a soft lead in this with course and distance winner Talent Scout in the field. Ben Robinson takes five pounds off his back, but others make far more appeal.

4 TALENT SCOUT (non runner) – Likes a stiff track and this course and distance winner enjoyed two all the way victories at Beverley before two more runs at the same venue the last twice, with excuses latest. He faces a stern take off a mark of 75 – two pounds above his last winning mark – and this softer ground isn’t going to help him as all his wins have come on good or faster. Gemma Tutty retains the ride, but he’s likely to be fighting for places only.

5 STANLEY – Progressive son of Pivotal who produced a good effort on his latest start at Windsor to finish second, only beaten by an unexposed three-year-old. He remains on the same mark under Graham Lee and his preferred softer ground will pose no problems. If matching that latest performance for Jonjo O’Neill he’s unlikely to be far away and is another to consider for each way placings.

6 ROCKWOOD (non runner) – Course and distance winner who won twice in the spring, but improvement has stalled since and, although he is reliable, he seems destined for a minor role off this mark. He looked very one paced when fourth at Ayr on his latest start. Even though a return to a stiffer track should help, he doesn’t appeal for win purposes under Andrew Mullen as he comes up against some well treated types.

7 BUCKLAND BEAU (non runner) – Hard to win with but ran well on his latest start at Yarmouth, finishing third after faltering towards the finish. He remains on the same mark and needs more to threaten here. However, his course and distance third behind Rockwood back in April brings him into this as he’s now two pounds lower. Paul Mulrennan takes the ride for the out of sorts Charlie Fellows yard and he looks to have each way claims.

8 CHISWICK BEY – Two wins from nine starts this year for this highly tried nine-year-old who returned to winning ways at Beverley on his penultimate start, dead-heating in selling class. Back into handicaps he ran admirably to finish third at Hamilton behind a runaway winner. However, this looks tougher and he’s only down a pound in the handicap. Softer ground won’t help matters either and there is likely to be other days for him.

9 LIL SOPHELLA (non runner) – Last win came way back in May 2016 off a nine pound higher mark and she’s only rated 69 due to some very poor performances of late. She looked well beaten from some way out when only seventh at Redcar two weeks ago. Despite another four pound consolation from the handicapper she is giving off no signs that she is about to return to winning ways. Others readily preferred.

10 RALPHY BOY (non runner) – Won this race in 2015 and 2016. Although he’s yet to hit top form this season for Alistair Whillans, he has been showing signs that he’s getting there. He is now seven pounds below his winning mark from last year and he was far from disgraced when sixth at Ayr when last seen, rallying well when headed. Softer ground will be no problem, so he looks set to make it three successive wins.

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