Architect Tips continues his daily Tote Placepot tips column with selections for the first six races at Pontefract.
Leg 1 Selections: Jamie Bond, Russet Gold
JAMIE BOND travelled well for a long way on debut and while he faded into sixth in the closing stages, he would have finished closer without interference. He is entered in Group One and Two events, so he’s clearly well-regarded and could be the one to beat the favourite with the vital experience under his belt. Roger Varian’s RUSSET GOLD has shaped well behind useful sorts in both starts to date and should appreciate the drop in distance.
Leg 2 Selections: Wor Willie, Glory And Honour
WOR WILLIE produced a career-best performance when scoring by eight lengths over course-and-distance last month and although he’s been hit with an eight pounds rise, he has to be considered providing that impressive victory proves to be no fluke. GLORY AND HONOUR has won his last two starts in this sphere and has proven to be effective in fast ground. His connections reach for the cheek-pieces and, if that manoeuvre can bring even further improvement out of him, he may complete the hat-trick.
Leg 3 Selections: Honey Sweet
HONEY SWEET can potentially cause an upset in the feature race. Karl Burke runs two in the race but Clifford Lee has opted for the former, 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. On a line through the winner, 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. I think the top two in the market are worth taking on, as Gale Force Maya has had a hard campaign, while Chil Chil hasn’t threatened in both starts this term. With this in mind, I’ll take a chance on this proven Listed winner filly, who should be suited to this course and has the ability to go well over her optimum distance.
Leg 4 Selections: Ikhtiraaq, Sanitiser
IKHTIRAAQ was winning for the second time in just five starts at Yarmouth back in June and the runner-up from that race has previously beaten Sanitiser, so the three-year-old is the one to beat here. His trainer won this race last year, so they will have an incline as to what is required and whilst SANITISER is the highest rated of the pair, I think the former will just come out on top in leg four with more to offer.
Leg 5 Selections: Flint Hill
All of these cannot be taken lightly but this is a great opportunity for course-specialist FLINT HILL 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.
Leg 6 Selections: Positive Force
I think the favourite, Three Start, is worth taking on here and preference goes to the Kevin Ryan-trained POSITIVE FORCE, who has run well in all four starts and was the only runner able to make a race of it with an odds-on favourite last time, albeit beaten three-lengths. This race is a bit easier and we can expect Tom Eaves to make full use of his good draw in stall one at a course that often favours being ridden prominently. His overall form gives him strong claims of getting off the mark here in what is a small but wide-open event.