With Glorious Goodwood looming large on the horizon, starting on Tuesday, there is but a lone offering on the Flat in Britain on Sunday and it comes from Pontefract. where we pick out three horses to back…
It’s a seven-race card in West Yorkshire, with action from 1.45-5.10, and is headlined by the Listed Pomfret Stakes over a mile at 2.50.
We’ve picked out three to follow on the Sunday afternoon offering from Pontefract, including one in the big race.
Mabre – Pontefract 2.15
A drop into Class 5 company might be just the ticket for MABRE (9/1) in this mile handicap as David Evans’ six-year-old goes in search of a second turf win of this season.
The Make Believe gelding won twice on the all-weather earlier in the year and added to that tally when bagging an apprentice contest at Newbury in May over this trip.
He has mostly held his form since, posting figures of 2532 in four starts at various trips. The most recent of those saw him rattling home fast from a poor position to lose out only in a head-bobber at Chester (7½f, soft) earlier this month.
Extra yardage or a better starting position might easily have seen that race end differently. He’s only rated 1lb higher now in this lower grade and the blinkers he sported when scoring at Newbury in May are returned.
Ben Curtis rides here and, if they can find a decent position from which to challenge, this first visit to Pontefract could be a winning one.
Flight Plan – Pontefract 2.50
There’s not much to separate the contenders in the Listed Pomfret Stakes that acts as the feature race on the afternoon at Pontefract, with 6lb covering the six-runner field on official ratings.
Dropping back in trip could be an aid for the likes of Poker Face and Raadobarg, while Al Mubhir is also a likely sort going the other way.
They are respected, but perhaps the sole three-year-old in the field can bag the prize.
FLIGHT PLAN (13/2) shaped with lots of promise when narrowly denied in this grade on the all-weather at Newcastle over a mile on Good Friday on his seasonal bow.
The Night Of Thunder colt took aim at the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket afterwards and was outclassed, while his only run since saw him far from disgraced in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last month dropped back to 7f.
A rise in trip coupled with a drop in class is offered to Karl Burke’s runner and he could be very dangerous in getting 8lb from the field under David Egan.
Muatadel – Pontefract 5.10
The concluding Auntie Maid 50th Birthday Handicap over the flying five-furlongs sees in-form contenders Astapor and Soul Seeker in the mix, but it could present a chance for bottom-weight MUATADEL (9/1) to get back on the scoresheet.
The Exceed And Excel gelding was a winner over this C&D in September 2021 and has improved in each of three turf runs since returning from a short break last month.
He was fourth at Hamilton (6f, good to firm), third at Thirsk (6f, good to firm) and then second at Beverley (5f, soft) 12 days ago.
William Pyle, armed with his 7lb claim, was on board that day and he can steer the veteran sprinter home in front for what would be the ninth win of his career.