4.40pm Pontefract Tips & Betting Preview 17/10/2016

Eight stayers have been declared for this good-quality conditions race. Read our horse-by-horse race preview for our experts’ betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: This conditions race over a marathon trip has attracting some very talented runners but it’s still hard to get away from BURMESE, who was evidently suited by the thorough stamina test and ran a huge race when fifth in the Ascot Gold Cup in June. His recent seventh in a French Group 1 was perfectly respectable and it’s slightly surprising to see he’s available at odds-against in the early betting markets for this. Oriental Fox has some questions to answer after a couple of disappointing efforts but he’s a smart horse when on song and, with today’s trip/ground sure to suit him too, he is the main danger to the selection. Fun Mac is shouldered with a hefty 8lb penalty for winning in Class 2 company at Salisbury last month but can still give a good account here.

1 Fun Mac – Posted his career-best performance when placed in the Prix du Cadran at Longchamp (2m4f, good) just over a year ago; unable to hit quite the same heights this season and has to concede weight to all his rivals here, but won a conditions race at Salisbury (1m6f, good to soft) last month and probably won’t be far away.

2 Burmese – Seemed to respond well to first-time cheekpieces when very creditable fifth in the Ascot Gold Cup (2m4f, soft) in June and certainly wasn’t disgraced when seventh in the Prix du Cadran at Chantilly (2m4f, good) recently; sure to appreciate today’s significant drop in class and be suited by the conditions; the one to beat.

3 Cayirli – Outran 40/1 odds when excellent second in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot (2m5f, good to soft) in June and has a major role to play if in similar form here, but his overall profile is not convincing and he was about 12l behind Burmese in the Prix du Cadran at Longchamp recently.

4 Foxcub – Useful over hurdles when on song and has sufficient stamina for today’s test but was out of sorts in the first few months of 2016 and has been off since a disappointing chasing debut in May; faces a very tough assignment on first ever Flat start.

5 Mijhaar – Useful hurdler who is not as good as he once was on the Flat but posted a sound effort in this sphere when close second in a Class 3 handicap at Ayr (2m1f, good to soft) last month; today’s slower ground won’t be a problem but a place might be his best hope at today’s weights.

6 Oriental Fox – Tailed off in the Ceserewitch at Newmarket recently and was also disappointing at Doncaster on his penultimate appearance but has been a very useful tool over the years and was a creditable sixth in the Ebor Handicap at York (1m6f, good) in August; suited by a thorough stamina test such as this and dangerous to ignore.

7 Riptide – Dual course winner over a slightly shorter trip in 2013 and ran well when placed in a Class 5 handicap over C&D just a fortnight ago, but it’s hard to imagine him landing a significant blow against the pick of today’s opposition.

8 Madam Lilibet – Stamina is undoubtedly her strong suit but her second here (2m5f, soft) in April came in a run-of-the-mill handicap and she’s been well below that form since then.

myracing Forecast Prices: Evs Burmese, 3/1 Oriental Fox, 6/1 Fun Mac, 8/1 Cayirli, 12/1 Mijhaar, 14/1 Foxcub, 50/1 Riptide, 100/1 Madam Lilibet

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