Spifer to give the weight away in Pontefract feature
By Stephen, bettingexpert.com | Published
Google+: Stephen Harris
Luca Cumani has his team in excellent heart at the moment and his 4-y-o Spifer can defy the burden of ten stone to land the Family Day on 19th August Handicap.
The Motivator gelding got off the mark in a fair maiden on his seasonal debut in 2011 and followed that with a trio of seconds in handicaps. He shaped very well over 1m4f at York in May but looked quirky off the bridle when only sixth at Newmarket last time out, and has been given two months off since to freshen up by his astute trainer. Kieran Fallon is an eyecatching booking and the forecast fast ground should prove ideal as he drops down in class.
Main danger for the £10,300 prize money comes from Mark Johnston's progressive 3-y-o Sir Graham Wade. He is a lightly-raced colt who is on firmly the upgrade, winning a warm Haydock maiden in April, and returning from a short break with an improved effort to land a competitive big-field Goodwood handicap last time out. The 7lb penalty is unlikely to stop him going close with the yard continuing in red hot form as the ground has dried out.
Samarkand is worth a check in the market after 300 days on the sidelines. He created a good impression when stringing out his rivals in an all-weather handicap last June, and came back to form when third when last seen in October. However, the Sir Mark Prescott yard have had a very quiet time of things this summer, with a strike rate well below their usual high standards, and only a deluge of cash would encourage any support on this belated seasonal reappearance.
Course winner Northside Prince has a patchy record this term, with only two placed efforts from six runs, and he needs to build on a second at Carlisle recently, while Edmaaj seems to have stamina issues over this trip and may now be in the grip of the handicapper anyway.
Perhaps Bollin Greta may be the one to outrun her price. She is a tough and reliable mare who stepped up on previous efforts this year to score at York last month and a 4 lb rise seemed fair enough. The 7-y-o was out of her depth in listed company last time out but this looks much more suitable and she has winning form at this stiff course in the past.
In summary, a high quality handicap for the venue and slight preference is for Spifer at the likely prices. He should be fresh and readied after 65 days off, and can swoop up the hill at a track that Kieran Fallon rides so well. At around 5-1 this morning a maximum each-way bet is confidently recommended.
Stephen's Wednesday Nap Rising Legend 3.20 Brighton
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