Pontefract and Windsor previews: Innocently handicapped to strike
David Metcalf | June 6, 2016
Innocently weighted to get back to winning ways at Pontefract
Innocently can take advantage of a drop in the weights to score an overdue success in the 5f handicap on this evening’s card at Pontefract (21.15).
The David O’Meara trained gelding is on a long losing run having not scored since landing a class 4 handicap at Ripon in July 2014 off a mark of 81.
Innocently got put up 6lb for that success and was far from disgraced off his revised rating of 87 when ninth of 16 to Online Alexander in a class 2 affair at York, on his final start of the campaign.
The five-year-old is now able to race in this class 5 contest off a career-low mark of just 70, and that gives the son of Kheleyf a huge shout at the weights.
Innocently also comes into the race having shaped well at Newcastle on his first start back from a break when knocked about 3 1/2 lengths six of 11 to Coto.
Others pluses are that Innocently has bagged the plum draw in stall one and has the services in the saddle of Josh Doyle who is good value for his 5lb claim.
Teetotal each-way value
In the 5f handicap (20.45), Teetotal looks decent each-way value now returned to a venue he runs well.
The Nigel Tinkler trained gelding is a three-time course and distance winner, with the last of those successes coming at a class 4 contest back in May 2014 off a mark of 71.
Teetotal has failed to get his head in front since, but has run well to make the frame on a number of occasions.
The six-year-old is now able to race in this class 5 affair off a career-low of just 56, and that gives him major claims from a handicapping perspective.
Although disappointing last time out, Teetotal got badly hampered at the start and had previously shaped well in two runs.
The return to this track is a big plus which may well see the son of Footstepsinthesand in a far better light, and the booking of jockey Graham Gibbons to do the steering is an eye-catching one which suggests connections are expecting a big run.
19.15: Waterclock (NB)
19.45: Dutch Mist
20.15: Sabre Squadron
20.45: Teetotal (E/W)
21.15: Innocently (NAP)
Hitman can gun down Windsor rivals
Hitman caught the eye on seasonal reappearance and looks to hold leading claims of opening his account in the 6f classified stakes on this evening’s card at Windsor (20.30)
The William Muir trained colt shaped with plenty of promise in three runs as a juvenile and posted an improved effort on handicap debut at Salisbury last month when third of 10 to Dancing Star in a warm race for the grade.
After losing vital ground when dwelling at the start, Hitman made good headway a furlong from home and stuck to the task well to be beaten just two lengths.
It was an excellent effort given how the race panned out, and the son of Canford Cliffs looks sure to come on for the outing.
The winner, and sixth home Wiley Post, have also gone on to score since to give the form a strong look in the context of this contest.
Hitman is also unexposed and open to plenty more progress, and this respresents a nice opening for the three-year-old to get off the mark.
Dheban can cash-in on class drop
In the 5f handicap that closes proceedings (21.00), Dheban can take advantage of a drop in grade to land the spoils.
Trained by Richard Hannon, the gelding won his final start as a juvenile in good style at Chelmsford but disappointed on handicap debut at Doncaster when last of 17 on seasonal reappearance.
However, the three-year-old showed that running to be all wrong when a fine fourth of 13 to Discreet Hero in a competitive class 3 contest at York last month.
Dheban kept on nicely to be beaten just 2 1/2 lengths in what is tradtionally a hot contest, and is now able to race in this lower grade class 4 affair off 1lb lower.
That gives the son of Exceed And Excel outstanding claims in a contest lacking any real strength in depth.
18.00: Bin Battuta
18.30: My Lord
19.00: Oasis Spear
20.00: Raising Sand
20.30: Hitman (NAP)
21.00: Dheban (NB)
See our special horse racing section for further top tips and previews.