29th July 2012
Pontefract Betting: Set The Trend should go close in listed contest
Pontefract 3.50pm – Listed Race – 1m 4yds – Pomfret Stakes
Invisible Man and Mia Madonna are non-runners leaving just 7 runners and one less place term than if the 100-1 shot had stayed in and given us 3 places for 8 runners. Current favourite at 11-4 with PaddyPower is Rugged Cross. You have to feel it is priced on potential as it has just the 1 win from 4 starts. It was a close 3rd to Thought Worthy and Noble Mission at Newmarket over 10f but looked ill at ease at Epsom and possibly didn’t stay the 12f there. There are 2 trains of thought here – unexposed or inexperienced and it is hard to argue with either.
Prince Of Johanne won the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot last time out in a huge field of 30 runners. It has spent its career running in handicaps and has run just once at listed level in a listed handicap. It was 2nd that day behind the ever frustrating Fury and had Mijhaar back in 3rd. It is now rated 106 and has basically been forced to go for listed races with such a high handicap mark but has yet to prove it is capable of mixing it at this level in non handicaps. It has done nothing wrong this season and is in fine form and a big run looks certain.
St Moritz was around 16-1 last night and is now a 28-1 chance before even getting saddled up. Recent form has been awful with figures of last of 6, 5th of 6 and last of 6 in its last 3 races. It has a listed win over a mile on good to firm and has those conditions today. It needs to bounce back to form today and the bookmakers seem to think it has no chance. It has patches of form to suggest it could go close and is maybe a shade high in the betting but on recent form 28-1 would be about right.
Bannock has yet to prove it will stay a mile and they have chosen the wrong track to go on fact finding missions at Pontefract. This stiff uphill finish catches out horses with any stamina doubts and Bannock has looked more of a sprinter than a miler from what we have seen so far. It was 2nd to Gusto in a listed race but that was over 6f and it has yet to race past 7f. There is some stamina on the dam’s side but I would rather watch and observe than get involved with such question marks over the trip.
Lady’s First is a consistent type but has gone from a rating of 84 to a rating of 100 without even winning. It won a maiden race at York on its first start last July and has recorded 3 seconds, a third and a fifth since. It was 2nd to Falls Of Lora last time out in a listed race over a mile but on good to soft ground. It is a 3 year old filly and gets weight from the rest of the field but has to prove it isn’t just a bridesmaid horse today.
Highland Knight was 3rd to Thistle Bird last time out and that form was franked this weekend when that rival won again. It was beaten 5 lengths though and weakening in the final furlong and that is quite off putting. It has handicap wins off ratings of 89 and 95 but now steps into listed company against better horses and also has to prove it is capable of mixing it in this type of class. It is ok being well handicapped and having a bit in hand at that level but these types can get found out when meeting rivals on level terms.
Set The Trend made its seasonal reappearance just 8 days ago and looked in need of that run. The 2nd to Dubawi Gold in a Group 2 at Goodwood looks to be the best piece of form on offer in this race. It won a listed race on good to firm over a mile when rated 100 and should be suited by this quicker ground. It is now rated 110 and is the highest rated in the race but is available to back at 4-1. It has been described as a galloper and the concern would be that it would be more suited to a track like Doncaster or York than a tight turning track like Pontefract. O’Meara and Tudhope are in good form and had a winner at York yesterday.
2pts WIN – Set The Trend 4-1 Bet365 (BOG)
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Author: Formbook Frank