By The Tote Team www.tote.co.uk
We head to Pontefract for Monday’s Placepot Pointers where there looks a very winnable pot on offer.
Here are all the pointers you need before the gates open for Leg 1 at noon.
We look to have had the worst of the rain for a few days, so expect the ground to get no worse than the current description of soft. They’ll still need to cope with plenty of give underfoot nonetheless.
If you’re looking for a jockey to follow at Pontefract this year, Ben Curtis is your man, with a 26% strike-rate at the venue in 2020. Add in that 53% of his rides have hit the frame in that time and he makes a friend of Placepot players.
He has four rides in the six Placepot legs, with only the last of those four looking unlikely to trouble the principles. Last time out winner DASHING ROGER (Leg 3 - 1:30), JOSEPHINE (Leg 4 - 1:30) who is interesting stepping up in trip and WHAT A BUSINESS (Leg 5 - 2:00) who has hit the frame on his last two outings are all worthy of consideration.
Not only is HYDROS (Leg 6 - 2:30) the day’s ‘Placepot Banker’ but he’s probably a strong contender of most likely winner of the day. Sir Michael Stoute’s colt split horses now rated 99 and 91 on debut.
If he progresses as one would expect from that run, he’s unlikely to be troubled here, unless something comes on leaps and bounds from their previous runs. He’s a half-brother to soft ground Group Three winner Sangarius, so the switch to easier underfoot conditions should be OK if his breeding is anything to go by.
It would be wise not to write off SETANTII GIRL (Leg 2 - 12:30) after tasting defeat when chasing a double last time out. She strode on well when the penny dropped to land a decent enough novice event in which the second and fourth have since scored.
Pitched in a Group 3 level next time, she couldn’t quite cope with the occasion at this stage in her career, finishing ninth at Ayr. Back down to a more suitable level, James Given’s filly is worth considering.
The opening leg of the Placepot (12:00) will take some solving, with a whole host of two-year-olds that showed minor promise on their runs to date taking on a newcomer of Mark Johnston’s.
Judging which ones will show improvement is tough, but the one we’re taking a punt with is RAVENSCRAIG CASTLE who looked inexperienced on debut, finding himself at the back of the field well into the straight, before plugging on in the latter stages over a mile. Up to 1m2f he’s likely to show more.
The Johnston newcomer HARLEM SOUL also makes it into our perm on the basis of his handler doing well with his juveniles, and this particular two-year-old being a half-brother to the very useful Vivionn and Ispolini.
Leg 1: 3, 5
Leg 2: 3, 6
Leg 3: 3
Leg 4: 6, 9
Leg 5: 1, 11
Leg 6: 5
2 x 2 x 1 x 2 x 2 x 1 = 16 lines
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