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Pontefract Preview: Secateur looks a cut-above

Secateur shaped with bags of promise in three runs as a juvenile and looks a worthy favourite to open his account in the 1m 2f maiden at Pontefract today (2.30).

The John Gosden trained gelding caught the eye on debut when staying on nicely under tender handling to finish eighth of 17 at Newbury, and backed that up with a solid fourth in a 1m contest at Newmarket after dwelling at the start.

Secateur then improved again to round-off the campaign with a very good neck second to Shadow Rock over 1m 1f at Goodwood, and that form sets a clear standard in today’s line-up.

The son of Danehill Dancer is sure to appreciate the step up in trip this afternoon, and looked a slow maturing type last season would do far better as a three-year-old.

Another plus is that the stable do well with the few runners they send to the venue and boast a strike rate of 33% at the track in the past 12 months.

With the best form in the book, and the prospect of plenty improvement on the cards, everything suggests Secateur is going to very tough to beat.
In the 6f handicap (3.00), Geordie George looks to have plenty going for him.

Trained by John Quinn, the son of Kodiac had some smart for to his name as a juvenile and could well have more to offer having been gelded over the winter.

After running out an easy five length winner on debut when forging clear to beat Marmalad on heavy ground at Ripon, Geordie George went on to post some solid efforts on quicker ground.

They included a 1 1/4 length runner-up to Aktabantay at Newcastle when conceding 7lb, and the winner went on to land the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown and is now rated 108.

That reads very well in the context of this contest, and Geordie George backed it up with a very good third of 14 to Felix Leiter in a competitive class 2 nursery at York off 88 and a decent fourth of 12 to Roossey in a similar grade affair at Ayr off 92.
The three-year-old is now able to race in this lower grade class 3 contest off 89, and that makes Geordie George look nicely weighted on the pick of his form.

Selections:
2.00: Roayh
2.30: Secateur (NAP)
3.00: Geordie George (NB)
3.30: Riptide
4.00: Astronereus
4.30: Bonds Choice
5.00: Typhon