Pontefract Placepot: Monday October 20

Ed Dunlop's Prince Gagarin is likely to run well
Ed Dunlop's Prince Gagarin is likely to run well

Pontefract stage a good card this afternoon, and that is where we head for Monday's attempt at the Placepot...

14:10- The well-bred Phyllis Maud created a good impression on debut and could have been leniently treated by the handicapper, however she is sure to be carrying plenty of lines in the Placepot and is worth opposing with some solid rivals. Youonlyliveonce is top of the shortlist having left his maiden form well behind to finish second on nursery debut last week. He improved for a stamina test at Nottingham, so today's stiff track ought to suit, and Joe Doyle's 5 lb claim could come in useful. Dark Wave has improved since switching to nursery company, winning twice, and though he has a higher mark to defy here, he should still give a good account. 

14:40- Devious Spirit showed definite signs of promise when finishing runner-up on debut, handling a bit of cut in the ground well, and he was the only horse to give the ultimately-easy winner a race of it. A competitive sales race at the Curragh was unsurprisingly too tough next time, but a return to calmer waters will suit and he is likely to put up a bold show. 

15:10- This is a competitive sprint race but the first horse that we will turn to is Perfect Muse as she is proving progressive, winning three of her four most recent starts, and the way she won last time suggests that there could yet be more to come. The other horse that we will include is Cheworee as, though she ran poorly last time, an inside draw should suit her front-running style and a return to the level of form she showed at Goodwood would make her a big player. 

15:40- This looks like a good renewal of the listed Tankard Stakes - plenty are in with a shout - and we won't risk banking on any horse, for all Prince Gagarin seems to have strong claims. He ran no sort of race in the Acomb Stakes, but, that blip apart, his career has been full of promise. He ran his best race yet when finishing runner-up in a strong Newmarket nursery (the winner has since won) and he could yet have more to offer. We will also include Natural Charm as he is progressing well with racing, winning his two most recent outings, and showed a good attitude to win at Bath. 

16:10- It would be very disappointing if the stoutly-bred Galuppi didn't go extremely close, his form already the best on offer. Making his return from a five-month absence, Galuppi found a steadily-run race playing against his strengths at Kempton last time, but he will be well suited by this stiffer test and can get off the mark.

16:40- Calculated Risk is a fairly useful dual-purpose performer and he has shaped as if on a fair mark on both Flat starts this season, first staying on strongly to finish third here before also running with promise at York. He has been given a break since but is sure to go close from this fair mark if fully primed. For a bit of insurance we will also add Hell Hath No Fury as he has been an improved performer this season and was simply flying too high in a minor event here last time. This is a more suitable level and he should prove more competitive.

Recommendations:
14:10- 2, 10
14:40- 4
15:10- 1, 9
15:40- 5, 7
16:10- 2
16:40- 1, 8
= 16 lines

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