13:50 Pontefract

JAMIE BOND (best price 5/1) travelled well for a long way on debut and while he faded into sixth in the closing stages, he would have finished a lot closer without interference in which he stumbled slightly and lost momentum at the time. He is entered in Group One and Two events, so he’s clearly well-regarded by connections and, with that vital experience under his belt, Graham Lee might be able to seize the initiative from stall one and beat these with more to come. 
Jamie Bond - 1pt

14:55 Deauville

The Jacques le Marois Group 1 Stakes has attracted a quality field and I am going to take an each-way chance on LIGHT INFANTRY (best price 14/1), who produced a good effort when runner-up in the Group One Jean Prat at this venue last month. He had previously won his first two starts in good style and wasn’t disgraced when ninth in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, where he kept on nicely in the final furlong, despite having raced keenly and not at all looking comfortable on the track at any stage. 

He was off the bridle a long way out but stuck to the task well under Jamie Spencer and his sectionals inside the final furlong were pretty impressive given he looked to be going nowhere at one stage. Jamie Spencer knows him well and the way he finished his race off here last-time-out, suggests the return to this one mile distance will suit better. I don’t think we have seen the best of him yet so whilst I recognise he has a bit to find with the market principles on ratings, he makes plenty of appeal at double-figure odds. 

Light Infantry - 0.5pts e/w @ 14/1

15:00 Pontefract

HONEY SWEET (best price 16/1) can potentially cause an upset in the feature race. Karl Burke runs two in the race but Clifford Lee has opted for this filly, who should be better suited to the six furlongs and her previous try over this trip resulted with an unlucky second at Carlisle behind stablemate Oscula in a Listed event. She has a much better chance in this event than her odds and rating suggests, especially when she was giving her stablemate three-pounds at Carlisle and had a nightmare passage when travelling better than the winner too.

I think the top two in the market are definitely worth taking on, as Gale Force Maya has had a hard campaign, while Chil Chil hasn’t really threatened in both starts this term. With this in mind, I’ll back this proven Listed winning-filly, who should be suited to this course and has the ability to go well over her optimum distance and appeals most at generous odds. She’s wildly overpriced. 

Honey Sweet - 0.5pts e/w @ 16/1

15:18 Southwell

SPITTING FEATHERS (best price 10/1) hasn’t set the world alight so far this term but Kevin Ryan’s charge was far from disgraced when right in the mix of the bunch finish at Ayr last time in a class-four event and that race has worked out strongly with the awarded winner Grigadale following up since. This three-year-old was deemed good enough to contest the Group Two Gimcrack last year and while he admittedly finished well beaten, he clearly has a lot of ability and this is by far the easiest task he’s been granted in his career. If the switch to the all-weather on just second start following wind surgery makes any difference, he could easily hit the frame at the very least at large odds. 
Spitting Feathers - 0.5pts e/w @ 10/1

16:10 Pontefract

All of these cannot be taken lightly but this is a great opportunity for course-specialist FLINT HILL (best price 3/1) to go one better than when narrowly denied in this race twelve months ago. He wasn’t beaten far at York last time and was beaten just a neck in the Pontefract Cup on his penultimate start when giving the winner lots of weight. He had previously beaten a host of subsequent winners over course-and-distance off this mark and runs this track well. His experience of these conditions of this course and the distance should see Ruth Jefferson’s charge have too much class and staying power for the remainder. I am surprised he’s not pushing for favouritism here with the form in the locker to beat these. 
Flint Hill - 1pt @ 3/1

17:03 Southwell

SCALE FORCE (NAP) (best price 8/1) is a two-time course-and-distance winner, who defied a six pounds higher mark in a class-five event when gaining the second of those two wins. He won by over two lengths that day and won off an eighteen pounds higher mark (74) last year in a class-three at Wolverhampton. He is down to a mark of 55 whilst still performing consistently in defeat and he caught the eye when a strong-finishing fourth here last time, where he was given too much to do but was only beaten about two lengths, finishing with running left, behind The Tron and Marwari. 

Gay Kelleway’s charge likes it here and wasn’t beaten far here back in March too off a mark of 64 and his overall record at this venue reads 12404353133220046244, where a good 95% of those efforts were in class-five events or better. Daniel Muscutt, who rides this course better than anyone, who’s operating at an astonishing 29% strike-rate here, has been booked to ride and his mount is drawn better today in stall eleven. Given all of this six-year-old’s form at this course has been off higher marks against mostly stronger opponents, if he can build on his latest eye-catching fourth, he looks capable of ending his long losing sequence. 

Scale Force - 1pt e/w @ 8/1