4.40pm Pontefract tips for Thursday’s Class 3 race. A field of eight horses go to post for this middle distance contest. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: Royal Shaheen won well at Pontefract on his latest start and is an obvious contender upped five pounds, preference, however, is for STAR OF RORY. The first-time visor worked the charm when he was only narrowly denied at Haydock three weeks ago and a two pound rise is far too generous to ignore. He remains unexposed as he’s still lightly raced and can gain a well-deserved second career victory.
1 EMPRESS ALI – Course and distance winner for Tom Tate who won two starts ago at Nottingham before a second at Haydock on her latest start, beaten six lengths. Clearly more is needed off the same mark and she’s likely vulnerable, despite the yard really hitting form in recent weeks.
2 CARNAGEO – Got back on track at York on his latest start, keeping on well to just edge out a game rival 18 days ago. A four pound rise looks harsh though and leaves him vulnerable for win purposes, especially as he can be a frustrating horse to follow.
3 DANCE KING – Running well on most of his starts this season, ending a long-standing winless run at Carlisle in the Cumberland Plate back in June. He has, however, looked held off of similar marks since, four lengths behind Carnageo at York when last seen and a repeat of that performance only gives him each way claims. Likely needs some help from the handicapper.
4 STAR OF RORY – Only win remains a Novice race on debut at Haydock in July 2016, but the first-time visor worked wonders when he was only narrowly denied at Haydock three weeks ago. He’s only two pounds higher here and a repeat of that performance should be more than enough as he gets this trip very well.
5 INDIAN CHIEF – Won two starts ago at Hamilton when demolishing a field in softer ground, but he was well held behind Carnageo at York two weeks ago. He’s now up another two pounds which really doesn’t help his case and he looks vulnerable off such a high mark, especially on this ground.
6 ROYAL SHAHEEN – Bounced back to form when always travelling the best to win a course and distance handicap; he beat Save The Bees that day which puts him close to Carnageo on linking form. He’s five pounds higher in a tougher grade, but he’s an obvious contender with in-form rider Graham Lee aboard.
7 LA CASA TARIFA – Now back to his last winning mark, but he’s been well beaten on three runs since a break and he refused to race at Chelmsford when last seen. Clearly comes with risks attached and this quirky sort isn’t one to rely on heavily. Contender at his best, but you couldn’t guarantee he’ll put it all in.
8 ANDOK – Lightly raced this year for Richard Fahey and he’s been well held on all four runs, with a third at Thirsk after a gelding operation still below his best by some way. Has to be some doubts as to whether he’s trained on and his stamina is to prove here, so it’s easy to look elsewhere.