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Pontefract Preview: Chivers chances are crystal clear

Chivers relishes cut in the ground and, with underfoot conditions in his favour, can get back on the winning trail in the 1m 4f handicap at Pontefract today (4.40).

The Tim Easterby-trained colt got off the mark back in June when staying on strongly to score on good-to-soft ground at Beverley over 1m 4f. He has since gone on to land a 1m 6f contest at Redcar three starts back under similar conditions, when again staying on strongly to lead close home and beat District Attorney by a neck off 64.

Three-year-old Chivers then found quick ground against him when 8th of 12 to Entihaa in a decent Class 4 contest at York, before putting in a better effort last time out on good ground at Newcastle when third to off a rating of 69.

The well-named son of Duke Of Marmalade now drops down a grade into Class 5 company off the same mark, and that gives Chivers every chance from a handicapping perspective.

Chivers is also interestingly now being fitted with the cheekpieces for the first time, as he has raced lazily in the past and taken time to get going.

It would be no surprise if the headgear brought about further improvement, and every drop of rain that falls at the track will definitely be in Chivers’ favour.

Statutory has shaped as if coming back to form and looks a worthy odds-on favourite to land back-to-back successes in the Phil Bull Trophy (4.40).

The gelding was a three-time winner last year when trained by Mark Johnston, with the last of those successes coming in this contest where Statutory slammed subsequent Ebor winner Mutual Regard by 14 lengths.

A son of Authorized, Statutory was bought by Godolphin and moved to Saeed Bin Surror after that runaway victory, and has run some solid races in decent contests this year.

The best of those came in a Listed contest at York back in may when fifth of 12 to Ralston Road, after which Statutory put in a couple of below par efforts.

However, the four-year-old looked to be coming back to something like his best when fourth of 16 in a very competitive Class 2 contest at York on his penutimate start, and confirmed that view with a solid fourth at Goodwood last month.

If Statutory can build on those efforts, he is going to take the world of beating in the hands of jockey Freddie Tylicki.

Selections:
2.10: Oceanographer
2.40: Honeysuckle Lil
3.10: Moohaarib
3.40: Statutory (NB)
4.10: Mr McLaren
4.40: Chivers (NAP)
5.10: Fallen In Line