The Score's top tips for Monday: Star Of Valour worth another chance

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Sun 4 Oct 2020

Windsor and Stratford have been lost to waterlogging on Monday but Racing TV still have a mix of Flat and Jumps action via Pontefract and Killarney.

I've got three fancies at the former meeting, starting with:

1.00 Pontefract: HMS President at a general 5-2

This looks a good opportunity for Eve Johnson Houghton’s gelding, especially with Shamaron a non-runner.

It’s perhaps a little disconcerting that he has not managed to get his head in front in three starts since his excellent fourth behind Highland Chief at Royal Ascot but there have been mitigating circumstances.

He drops to a mile but the stiff track, soft ground and likely decent gallop will all play to his strengths. I fancy him to outmuscle Sea Trout Reach in the closing stages.

1.30 Pontefract: Nordano at a general 11-4

This race remembers course specialist Bluff Cove, from the 1980s, and it’s a little uncanny that the cleverly named Call My Bluff (by Make Believe out of Ocean Bluff) will be a leading fancy. I kid ye not.

Call My Bluff arrives seeking a hat-trick after scoring again at Kempton last week but this gruelling test might come quick enough and he has a 6lb penalty to shoulder.

I’m happy to take him on with Nordano, who showed improved form when gelded, switched to Neil King and sent over hurdles last winter. He’s been absent eight months since romping home in the mud over 2m3f in the mud at Ascot but must go well here off a mark of 65 if anywhere near straight.

His rating over jumps is 140 and, while it’s not an exact science, I generally knock off 50 to come up with the kind of figure a horse might be capable of running to on the level.

2.15 Stratford: Carys’ Commodity at 4-1 with William Hill

Meeting abandoned.

3.30 Pontefract: Star Of Valour at 12-1 with Paddy Power

I put Star Of Valour up as an each-way bet in a competitive contest at Carlisle last week but his race was over before it started because he and Smeaton were left languishing from the off after the latter anticipated the start and caused the stalls to shake violently.

There was never much chance of Star Of Valour getting involved after that incident and Callum Rodriguez, his regular partner, wisely let him come home in his own time.

The five-year-old had been in good heart before that unfortunate blip and remains only 3lb higher than when. winning at Haydock in July.

This also looks a much weaker race to the one he contested seven days ago and so am I obliged to go in again. Noble Dawn and Chosen World were the other pair on my shortlist.

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