5.20pm Pontefract Tips & Betting Preview 23/10/2017

5.20pm Pontefract tips for Monday’s Class 4 contest raced over 5f for three year-olds and older. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.

IN SUMMARY: This is a competitive handicap and the vote goes to STRAIGHTOTHEPOINT. Bryan Smart’s runner is lurking on a kind mark based on some solid efforts earlier in the year and he can take this today with Graham Lee in the saddle. Van Gerwen is entitled to go well following a solid effort last time out whilst Tahoo can follow up her Nottingham win with a good run here.

1 TAHOO – Won a competitive Nottingham handicap last time out by a neck off a mark of 83. She races here with a 6lb penalty but the yard’s runners usually continue to improve and she’s tricky to discount from stall 4 in ground that should suit.

2 ROYAL BRAVE – Ran with credit in a big-field handicap at York last time out to finish sixth of 20. He races off a one pound lower mark today which entitles him to go well although the ground is a concern having failed to win on Soft in three attempts.

3 HOOFALONG – On the downgrade this year having once been rated as high as 100. He wasn’t beaten that far in a couple of stronger handicaps than this and a mark of 86 is another fresh low but others make more appeal today on this ground.

4 ESCALATING – Will enjoy today’s conditions and stall 7 is fine for Mick Appleby’s runner. A mark of 85 looks reasonable having won a Class 3 handicap off just 2lbs lower in the season and he’s entitled to go well today. Lewis Edmunds claims a valuable 3lbs.

5 ALEEF – Hasn’t been quite as good this season having failed to get within striking distance of the winner on his last three starts. There are reasons to believe a mark of 85 more accurately reflects his ability and David Nolan takes over in the saddle here.

6 MY NAME IS RIO – Benefits from a perfect draw in stall 1 but his form has been mixed this season and things will need to fall perfectly off a mark of 84. He is comfortable in this grade but he doesn’t look to have much in hand and he’s exposed to any sort of improving type.

7 ECCLESTON – Well-held on his first start for this yard last month and he seeks his first victory since August 2015. The ground should be fine having won on Soft previously but stall 13 is a poor draw and others make greater appeal in this.

8 ROSINA – Decent filly on her day but she has questions to answer regarding this ground having only won on Good ground or better. She’s still got improvement in her although a 6lb rise in the weights dented any progression at Musselburgh last time out and she may be best watched on this occasion.

9 ZIGGY LEE – 11yo who make his first start in over a year today. A mark of 81 should be within reach based on a second placed effort off 80 on his last start but the absence is a concern and it’s tricky to forecast how he will perform off a break.

10 MUATADEL – Has really hit his stride this season with Roger Fell, recording multiple wins and placed efforts. He ran with credit at Newcastle last time out and he should go well again off the same mark. Stall 10 makes life tricky but the ground will suit.

11 GAMESOME – Paul Midgley’s yard are without a winner from their last 16 runners and their runner is opposed here. He’s won just once from 32 career starts and he’s been comfortably held most recently at Newcastle and over C&D. A mark of 78 does look within reach but he’s a tricky sort.

12 HENLEY – Hit a purple patch earlier this year when recording three wins from four starts but the handicapper has caught up with him. He’s been well-held on his last three starts and whilst this looks slightly weaker than his last start, others look to have more in hand.

13 STRAIGHTOTHEPOINT – Looks to be lingering on a fair mark following some fair efforts in Class 4 handicaps earlier in the season. He’s 6lbs below a solid placed effort over 5f and he could provide some value in this tight affair. Graham Lee rides again today.

14 VAN GERWEN – Posted his best effort for a while over C&D in Heavy ground last time out when beaten a neck. He’s been raised 2lbs for that effort but he remains well-treated and he can go well again in the same grade on slightly better ground. Joe Fanning rides.

15 COSMIC CHATTER – Hacked up over 6f here back in August and he’s paid the price most recently having been raised in the weights. He’s back down to that last winning mark today and he does have a C&D win to his name so there are reasons to be positive off bottom-weight.

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