5.40pm Pontefract Tips & Betting Preview 20/08/2017

A field of 10 go to post in this Class 5 handicap raced over 6f. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: There could be a few nicely-handicapped sorts in this and the race can go to HIGHLY SPRUNG. He remains on a nice mark following a success two starts ago and his run last time out can be ignored given he ran as if something was amiss. Silvestre De Sousa is a positive booking and he can get him home ahead of Avenue Of Stars who is a C&D winner and he races off 6lbs lower than his last winning mark.

1 HIGHLY SPRUNG – Mark Johnston’s runner has a less than ideal draw in stall 7 but he can overcome that today and run a big race. He used to be rated much higher than this and he took advantage of a mark of 73 at Redcar two starts ago when winning by half a length. He’s only 2lbs higher today and he can put his last run firmly behind him given something looked to be amiss that day. Respected in this.

2 SANDRA’S SECRET – Les Eyre’s runner has dropped to a nice mark following some less than impressive runs throughout this season. She’s been handed a plum draw in stall 1 today and the booking of Josephine Gordon looks positive now he’s back onto better ground. However, the 6-furlong trip is questionable for her having won all three turf starts over 5 furlongs and she’s opposed on that basis.

3 ROSE MARMARA – Hasn’t shown anything near her best form this year with some comfortable defeats in this grade. A mark of 72 is fair given her run last time out although she remains 2lbs higher than her last winning mark and things are going to have to fall perfectly for her to come out on top in this. Brian Rothwell is without a winner from 13 runners here and others are preferred.

4 MAJOR CRISPIES – Without a win from 11 starts on Good ground and David O’Meara’s runner has won just once from 29 starts on the turf. He’s 2lbs higher than his last winning mark which came in a weak Lingfield claimer back in April and whilst he did run well at Beverley back in July, he looks up against it with a few of these today. He should give a decent enough account of himself though back at 6 furlongs.

5 DYLLAN – Has won just once from 16 starts which came over 5 furlongs on fast ground last year. He remains one pound higher than that mark and he’s struggled this season over various trips including in Claiming company when he failed to beat an average sort at Catterick. The return to 6 furlongs is a positive but he looks far from safe for win purposes.

6 KOMMANDER KIRKUP – Has produced some mixed performances for this yard in three starts although the best of those did come over C&D. He was a fair sort for previous connections and did race off a BHA mark of 82 just last summer. He’s been on the downgrade since but he’s now 9lbs lower than his last winning mark and he’d be of interest with market support with Tom Eaves in the saddle for the first time.

7 CLIFF – Won a Class 5 handicap over 6 furlongs on Good to Soft ground just under a fortnight ago. He’s been raised 2lbs for that success which came in a Pro-Am Lady Riders’ race and he’s going to find life tougher here, especially from stall 8. Conditions should be ideal for him though and Faye McManoman keeps the partnership intact today. Should go well.

8 THE AMBER FORT – Lightly-raced 3yo who is on good-terms with his older rivals in this. He’s shown a modest level of form this season with a few placed efforts recently including a third-place effort in a Class 4 handicap at Chester. A mark of 70 remains fair and he should go well although stall 10 will make life slightly more difficult for David O’Meara’s runner. Respected.

9 AVENUE OF STARS – Karen McLintock’s runner is extremely interesting given he won over C&D off a 6lb higher mark last season. He’s been on the downgrade since then having found himself too high in the weights but he’s back down to a reasonable mark and there are reasons to believe he should go well. Stall 2 is ideal and market support would make him of real interest.

10 DREAM BOUNTY – Steph Hollinshead’s runner makes her first start for the yard and just the fourth of her career aged 5. She’s been off the track since April last year when running well in a Doncaster handicap and she’s 2lbs lower today which could leave her on a nice mark. She will want some rain to arrive and the market should guide best given she’s clearly had issues forcing her off the track.

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