Horse Racing Tips

Sunday ITV Racing Tips: Expect a couple of Easterby home winners in Yorkshire

Pontefract
Pontefract's Sunday card features on ITV with seven races

"He's well treated off that rating and was running in some good races last summer. He's another each-way pick and we've got this as an Extra Place Special."

Back Manigordo each-way @ 15.014/1 in the 18:45 at Pontefract

Alan Dudman is standing in for Tony Calvin for Sunday's action at Pontefract, and the last time he was in the super-sub role, he tipped a 10/1 winner. He has a handful of bets for the TV coverage...

The Sky Bet Sunday Series rolls on to Pontefract this weekend and stepping in for Tony Calvin to look at the seven race card at Norman Gundill's track is a real pleasure with one field of 17 and another at 15 - a real luxury these days for each-way betting.

It would have been a real treat for the ITV cameras to show some of my favourite Hexham too, but this is just what a usual dead day of the week needs, and there's a few old favourites gracing the terrestrial coverage.

The two punting races I'll probably be eschewing are the opening 2yo Novice and the Listed Pontefract Castle contest for fillies, as I couldn't really find an angle in. I don't mind juvenile races, but Karl Burke has a trio of youngsters in one, and a couple of the time figures for the previous experience are poor. I'll also be leaving alone Mark Johnston's runners as a disclaimer - as he's a stable I have given up on trying to work out, or indeed find any sort of winner. My last was probably Double Trigger.

Nearly all of the yard's Ascot hopes finished well beaten and they didn't even have a runner in the Queen's Vase, but he's still had 70 winners this term and could well add to that tally on Sunday.

Take the Highway to profit with Easterby's grey

Nearly all of my old friends are Tim Easterby horses on Sunday, and he's doubled up in the 16:15 1m2f Handicap with Highwaygrey and Bollin Margaret - with the latter arguably drawn better in 4 compared to 8.

And this contest is a real mixed bag with a veteran 10yo, a trio of 3yos, and a jumper for good measure. However, taking a price of around 7.06/1 will do for me on Highwaygrey as a return to Ponty is the big plus for this four-time course winner.

His four runs this term have resulted in four blanks, and he has tried 1m4f - a trip I am not convinced he totally stays.

Last time out he was in the Zetland Gold Cup and wasn't beaten far, and his last piece of worthwhile form with optimum conditions of 1m2f on quick ground came over CD last season in 0-95 company. He also ran quite well in the popular Racing League for the red team in a better race than today's.

Down to a mark of 76, it's his lowest for a while and I can hear you all screaming about his slow starts, which are hindering him quite badly these days. But with a pace set-up relying on one of the two Johnston runners plus Dungar Glory who went off quickly last time, he might just be able to play a part late on.

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Also look out for El Picador, Keith Dalgleish's smooth traveller. He won at Musselburgh over 1m4f last time and he certainly has enough pace to deal with the drop to 1m2f at a track like Pontefract. But 84 looks a stiff mark for all he has been in fine fettle this term, he has three odds-on defeats in-running next to his name and could be played from that angle.

In short, Highwaygrey, down in grade, lowest mark for a while and a return to his favourite track can get him back.

Don't leave him out too

The Pontefract Cup over a marathon 2m2f presented a real discrepancy as two firms went up with prices late on Friday.

Oleg was 4/1 with one, and 9/1 with another. While Haizoom was 10/1 and 4/1 elsewhere. Basically it could be 5/1 the field job, but which one, who knows?

Haizoom done me a favour when I was on tipping duty standing in for TC last time and scored at 10/1 for an each-way win at Hamilton.

She did run poorly at York in between a better effort at Musselburgh last time, and Dalgleish is in the hunt for landing the trainers' bonus for seven winners in the series. Do I want to back her again though over a trip she isn't proven at? No.

Yasmin From York was a possible for trainer Simon Whittaker, as she has form on quick ground over 2m, but at one time she was rated in the 40s. That's slightly off-putting even though she has been in winning form this season.

Didtheyleaveuoutto could have the race run to suit, and we certainly he know he stays with form onwards of 3m over hurdles.

Rated 66 on the level, who is thrown in compared to his hurdles' rating, and around 8.07/1 is a bit more interesting than backing Oleg at half the price.

He won over Nottingham's 1m6f quite easily last summer and quick ground suits.

Cardano looks the sensible each-way pick if eight stand their ground

There's a bit of quality too in the 0-95 1m4f Handicap, although Fishable has let me down before and at around 4.03/1, I'll be leaving him out of the punting on Sunday.

Others are coming down in the weights - like Cardano off 92, while Haunted Dream is progressing this season with two wins for Ed Dunlop. There's an ex-Aidan O'Brien one-time three-figure runner in the shape of Mythical who is now with Simon Whitaker.

He once finished third in a Group 1 in France, but he's been lowered one swipe down to 90 from 97, and his prices were ranging from 16/1 to 25/1.

A tentative pick would be Cardano at double figures for an each-way bet with the eight standing their ground. He can make the running and stays 1m4f to 1m6f well, with efforts last year from Haydock and Wolverhampton giving him a major chance in this.

Against anything progressive, I doubt he would win, but I am not sure anything is progressive in this race and he should be good enough to hit a place considering he likes quick ground too.

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Come on Eilean, you can settle better

If only all Sunday racing was as competitive as the closing 6f race at 18:45. Just what punters want - 17 runners with a top weight of 90.

These sort of sprints aren't easy to win, and I worry if something returns to form from yesteryear. Hopefully it won't be my old friend Golden Apollo, who was at 25/1 at one stage. If he pops up and I haven't backed him, I'll be a bit miffed.

Eilean Dubh was so impressive last time at York as part of the series, it's hard to get away from him as he bids for the hat-trick of victories.

The 4yo had previously been a hard puller, and while it was evident on the Knavesmire last time, he still won with plenty in hand and he is starting to settle a bit better. But only recently he blew his chance at Newmarket with a keen run.

He tends to be at his best in the middle part of races according to the times, and drawn in 17 won't exactly be a gimme with his style of being on reasonably handy, especially if he shows his keenness again, and those factors worry me.

I'll chance a go on Manigordo for Tim Easterby at a double-figure price as he has dipped down to a nice mark and travelled strongly last time at Chester as he went down 2L from a mark of 76.

He's well treated off that rating and was running in some good races last summer. He's another each-way pick and we've got this as an Extra Place Special.

Good luck for Sunday.

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