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Pontefract Preview: It all adds up to Calculated Risk

Calculated Risk can make his class tell to defy top-weight of 10st and land the Bluff Cove Handicap at Pontefract today (4.40).

The John Quinn trained gelding is a smart hurdler who was successful at Sedgefield on his penultimate start before finishing well beaten in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

The seven-year-old is relatively lightly raced on the level, but has won two and been placed three times from just 10 starts.

The last of those successes came on soft ground at Ayr last September where Calculated Risk stayed on strongly to score by 1 1/4 lengths off a mark of 66 in a class 5 contest.

The five-year-old was then far from disgraced when finishing sixth of 13 in a valuable class 3 handicap at Musselburgh off 73, and shaped really well two starts back over course and distance when staying on from an impossible position under a poor ride from Ryan Moore to finish a never nearer 1 1/4 lengths third to Surprise Vendor.

Calculated Risk backed that up with a decent eighth of 17 in a competitive class 3 contest at York, and now gets into this lower grade class 5 affair off the same mark of 75.

That should enable the son of Motivator to be very competitive in a race lacking any real strength in depth, and with the soft ground holding no fears he looks the one they all have to beat.

In the 1m 2f handicap (5.10), the mud-loving Dark Ruler holds outstanding claims now eased in grade.

The Alan Swinbank trained gelding is a consistent sort who has has won three and been placed nine of his 19 starts on the turf.

The last of those victories came in a class 4 contest on soft ground at Doncaster in March where Dark Ruler stayed on dourly to beat High Office by a length off a mark of 76.

The five-year-old has since posted a series of solid efforts in higher grade company, including when third behind Hidden Gold in a class 3 contest a Musselburgh last time out on quick ground.

The winner has since gone on to follow-up in a class 2 contest at Lingfield off 6lb higher to give the form a solid look, and Dark Ruler has since been dropped 1lb by the assessor.

That makes the son of Dark Angel look fairly treated off a rating of 83 on the pick of his form now dropped back down into class 4 company.

It is the same grade as when Dark Ruler was last successful, and with the ground ideal everything points to a huge run.

Selections:
2.10: Youonlyliveonce
2.40: Regal Missile
3.10: Cheworee
3.40: Prince Gagarin
4.10: Galuppi
4.40: Calculated Risk (NAP)
5.10: Dark Ruler (NB)
5.40: Barren Brook