Steve Hughes has two selections for Sunday’s principal flat meeting in Britain
There is some interesting action in Britain on Sunday, but Uttoxeter’s jumps meeting has the difficulty of fast ground specialists running on slow ground. Therefore I am concentrating on a good card at Pontefract. We cleaned up well on Saturday with wins for Burnt Sugar (SP 20/1) and headline selection Flying Pursuit (9/1) plus an each-way placing for Ulshaw Bridge (advised 18/1).
Pontefract 3.35: Gabr
Having taken on the best 3yo’s this summer, Gabr has been found an easier opportunity at listed level against older horses and can take advantage at Pontefract.
He has shown promise all season, chasing home Without Parole on rain softened ground at Sandown on his comeback. He was no match for the same horse at Royal Ascot, lacking the raw pace to stay competitive, but I liked his run at Newmarket’s July meeting where he came down the unfavoured near side of the track but still finished well into second.
He has plenty of form with cut in the ground including a win at Yarmouth last September and a good fifth in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. His likeliest challenger today is Big Country, but that horse sports first-time headgear which may or may not be a positive and has to prove his ability to handle a softer surface.
Pontefract 4.05: Gin in the Inn
Somewhat out of form since winning first time out at Ripon in the spring (his third seasonal debut victory in four seasons), Gin in the Inn returns to a slower surface for the first time since and that can bring about a revival today.
He has struggled to cope with fast ground since, though he was a fair third a couple of starts back at Ripon. Indeed his profile this season has closely matched 2017 where he struggled after an early couple of wins. That included a 6l win here, so this stiff 6f clearly suits. He took in this race last summer as well, and that was his best performance for the rest of the campaign, a second place off a mark 4lbs higher than today on soft going.
For some reason higher draws have been favoured on the sprint course this season at Pontefract and that effect often is exaggerated on slow ground so stall eight might just be ideal today.
1.5pts win – Gabr – 3.35 Pontefract – 5/4 general
1pt win – Gin in the Inn – 4.05 Pontefract – 4/1 general