Sprung can bounce to fifth course win

Steve Hughes has two picks for Pontefract’s Sunday card

With rain having decimated a decent jumping card at Uttoxeter, I am sticking with the other venue for racing in Britain on Sunday with a competitive fixture at Pontefract. We had a solid Saturday with a win for Redarna (SP 5/1) and each-way places for Prince of Harts (advised 15/2) and Blue Mist (advised 20/1).

Pontefract 3.20: Billy Roberts

In tip top form at present Billy Roberts looks the solid option in this open handicap.

A winner over a mile here in 2017, the 6yo seems to be developing a preference for stiffer tracks having won at Beverley earlier in the summer. A step up in trip to 10f also seems to have brought about improvement – perhaps he possesses more stamina as he gets older.

There was nothing wrong about his second at Ripon last weekend where he was forced to make his challenge down the wide outside. That should not be an issue today given his inside draw. Happy racing prominently jockey Jason Hart can take advantage of that rail stall.

Pontefract 4.30: Highly Sprung

With four course wins already to his name it would be no surprise to see Highly Sprung come good again at his beloved Pontefract.

The 6yo has not been out of the frame in his last seven visits to the Yorkshire track over the past two seasons, including three fine runs in this campaign. Third over an inadequate 5f on his turf reappearance, he went on to win next time over his optimum 6f distance from a mark of 69.

Two runs down the field elsewhere followed, but back to this venue he bounced right back to form with a second place here last month. Claimer Harrison Shaw was on board that day and his 5lb claim today means he is technically off a lower mark than for his last win. Drying ground is expected today which will help his claims (he was withdrawn from his intended start here last week due to soft going.)

Recommended bets:

1pt win – Billy Roberts – 3.20 Pontefract – 9/2 Ladbrokes, Coral

1pt win – Highly Sprung – 4.30 Pontefract – 7/2 general

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