Rascal fancied for Pontefract glory
By Stephen, bettingexpert.com | Published
Google+: Stephen Harris
Tim Easterby's Royal Rascal is fancied to land the Spindrifter Conditions Stakes at Pontefract this afternoon after impressing in victory last time out.
The Lucky Story filly shaped with promise when third at Thirsk on her debut, and duly stepped forward when sprinting clear of a fair field in a York maiden 16 days ago in the soft ground. These conditions will be a good deal faster after a dry few days, but the stiff uphill finish will make it quite a test and she seems sure to carry on improving for a good while yet.
Main danger for the £12,000 prize money comes from Richard Fahey's Euxton Hall. His winning debut at Haydock in May has been recently well franked by the runner-up Annunciation and the third Lujaif (both impressive winners at the weekend). The Acclamation colt was sent off a well backed 7-4f in the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom last time out, but was never at ease on the camber under a patient ride and could only manage a one-paced fourth behind Chilworth Icon. This more conventional course seems sure to suit and he is a massive threat to our selection.
Mazeppa has improved with each start so far and gamely landed a 7f maiden at Musselburgh 17 days despite wandering under pressure. This is a much classier test and he may lack the scope of the principals dropping down a furlong in trip, while Top Notch Tinto needs to bounce back from a heavy defeat at Royal Ascot.
Perhaps Dark Opal may be the outsider to outrun his odds. He comes from an unfashionable stable but has shown plenty of ability in two Carlisle maidens so far, and might be the sort to relish this extra 1f. The Camacho filly traded at odds-on in running against the well backed favourite Secret Destination there, but just got tired late on in the testing ground and will appreciate this faster surface. She has plenty to find on the figures however, and might be one to keep an eye on for an early season nursery.
In summary, a quality contest that is essentially a match between Royal Rascal and Euxton Hall. The former really created a deep impression at York and is far from the finished article yet, with better ground expected to suit. At around 7-4 this morning she is a confident pick to assert late on under David Allan.
Stephen's Monday Nap Royal Rascal 4.00 Pontefract
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