I'm on Racing TV on Wednesday so will be trawling through and studying the form for the nine races which we will be showing live from Kempton Park for most of Tuesday evening, but Pontefract is one of my favourite punting tracks and I am very tempted to have a decent each-way treble on my three selections!
Even over extreme distances, a low draw is a big advantage at this track and Oleg could not have fared any better in that respect from stall one.
He has gone up 12lb for his win at Southwell where he absolutely bolted up and the handicapper did his worst, but I believe that mark of 67 was simply wrong and he would have done the same demolition job if he had been rated much higher anyway.
He surely has at least one more win in him and gets on well with his jockey Megan Nicholls.
I don’t know whether Paul Nicholls has ever had a double on the Flat, but he has a terrific chance here with another who looks very well-in.
Like many from the yard, he was given a wind op after a disappointing run and it seemed to do the job as he won a handicap hurdle well off a rating of 135.
He was not at all disgraced in the County Hurdle at the Festival off 10lb higher after that, either. He won a similar race to this at Windsor for Michael Bell off a rating of 81 but it does look as though he has improved subsequently, and I strongly suspect he is very well handicapped here.
This lightly-raced four-year-old is another from a top yard who looks to have the potential to be way better than some largely exposed rivals here.
Ben Curtis was a key jockey booking for William Haggas last season and is fancied by some to challenge Oisin Murphy this year, and these sorts of engagements will certainly help him.
This filly is related to some very good middle-distance horses but was speedy enough to win her maiden over a mile in very good style.
She looked as though ten furlongs was what she wanted on her next start and Shauyra is another who has a plum draw on Wednesday, so can start the season off in style.
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