Pontefract Pointers…

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I’m off on a jolly tomorrow (Tuesday 11th) to my local track Pontefract, where I’ll be meeting up with fellow racing fans/bloggers/website owners (and more importantly, friends) Mulldog (@mulldog) and Josh Wright (@Josh_HW).

I’ve not been racing all that much in the past year but in all honesty I’m much more comfortable (when it comes to the punting side of things) holed up behind my computer at NTF/BDH HQ ploughing through the trends and stats. We all enjoy a day out though and a day away from the grindstone and in preparation for my day out I’ve…eh…had my nose firmly pressed against the grindstone digging through the trends and stats for a days punting at Ponte!?!?

As most of you are probably aware I’m not one to go punting on every race on the card, far from it, I’m a bit more specialized than that when it comes to my punting, but for a day out at the races, and this is very much play not work, then it’s imperative to have an interest in Every.Single.Race. Damn it would be rude not to.

Once I’ve placed my ‘proper’ bets at home for the day (which in fairness doesn’t look likely to be that many, possibly even none) then I’ll be raiding my piggy bank for a ‘slosh fund’ for the day and I’ll be planning on spending the lot on betting and boozing (considerably less boozing than my younger days but I’m sure I’ll have a couple!).

So lets see what races I’ve got to tackle…

 2.10 – 2yo Nursery Handicap (eh…which would make up 0-1% of my flat betting through the year!)

2.40 – 3yo only Sprint Handicap (umm…about 1-2% of my flat betting…at a push)

3.10 – 4yo+ Listed Stakes Race (bit better, I can handle these races fine)

3.40 – 3yo+ Handicap (Much more like it, I can get stuck into this)

4.10 – 3yo+ Maiden (Nope…about 0-1% of my betting again…at a push!)

4.40 – 3yo only Handicap (Again…not really for me)

5.10 – 3yo+ Apprentice Handicap (Handicap = Yes | Apprentice Handicap = Not too often if I can help it but I do play in them when it’s called for)

So two and a bit races that fall into my comfort zone!!

Not to worry though as I’m going stats digging!!

And you guys can sink or swim with me as you wish as I’ll share my findings with you below.

Starting with any Pontefract angles I’ve saved on the databases…

Pontefract mini-angles…

I’ve actually a few mini-angles squirreled away for my local track, none that I follow religiously, more angles to help me as a ‘way in’ but for a day out I’m happy to rely on them.

The following two Pontefract angles that I have stored have qualifiers on Tuesday…

Angle 1 – Ralph Beckett | Distance move from last race between 2f less up to 1.5f more

Since 2005 = 13/33 | 39% S/R | +£24.70 LSP – W&P 18/33

69% above expectation

It’s about a 214 mile trip from Beckett’s yard to Ponte and he certainly likes to make the journey worthwhile.

He has two qualifiers on the angle tomorrow…



Angle 2 – Richard Fahey | June-July-Aug | 5f – 1m races | Class 4 & Class 5 | Horse career starts 0/14

Since 2012 = 20/64 | 31% S/R | +£68.84 LSP (+£116.65 BFLSP) – W&P 35/64 | 55% S/R

82% above expectation

Fahey is comfortably the winning most trainer at the track in recent years and this summer angle returns some cracking figures.

He has two qualifiers on the angle tomorrow…



So that’s a couple of ways in to try and turn a profit from the day but let’s look at each individual race now…

2.10 – Nursery Handicap

Looks like I might get a bit of value in the Fahey angle qualifier (AREEN FAISAL) as it’s currently around 5th favourite of 7. Jedd O’Keeffe looks like he will have the favourite in Collingham Park but he’s only got a 1/19 record at the track in the past couple of seasons so I’d be inclined to look elsewhere for another bet in the race, for all the O’Keeffe yard are absolutely blitzing things at present. Looking at the stats for the trainers with their Nursery Handicappers in the July & August period (first two months for Nursery Handicappers) Fahey gets another positive with an 18% S/R (35/191 | +£157.19 BFLSP) and then it’s John Quinn with a 16% S/R (6/37 | +£19.51 BFLSP). He saddles SHAHEEN here and interestingly that’s the only runner in the field with winning form on the (forecast) Good to Firm ground.

Areen Faisal & Shaheen will probably take up a fiver each of my money…

2.40 – 3yo Handicap

Sheepscar Lad the fav here and although I get that to a certain extent (went close at track LTO and at Thirsk time before, inside draw…) he is going up the handicap without winning, he has career stats of 0/15 and trainer Nigel Tinkler is 0/19 at the track in recent times. He may well break his duck here but those stats are more than enough to make me look elsewhere. The filly BAY STATION looks more my cup of tea. Her trainer Jason Ward has eye-catching stats of 8/21 | 38% S/R | +£39.16 BFLSP – W&P 14/21 | 67% S/R with his 3yo handicappers (in 3yo handicaps) in the June-July-Aug period and the mare won her maiden on similarly fast Good to Firm ground. She will have needed her first two starts this season (both off 100+ day breaks) and showed a lot more promise last time out at Redcar with a 3.5L 4th of 15. Ward also won with his only other runner at the track in the last 2 years. On the flip side Ward has not had a winner in the past 180 days (from 35 runners) although he has had 3 winners (from 61 runners) in the past 365 days. He’s clearly not got that many horses to go to war with so those stats are probably a shade misleading. Of the others, well, it really is a race of unexposed types (naturally) with none having more than 2 career wins on their CV’s so I’m reverting once again to trainer stats and this time I want to highlight Mick Channon. He is 5/11, 2p (45% W S/R – 64% W&P S/R) with his handicappers at the track in recent seasons and as such his LIGHTOLLER catches my eye. He’s the most experienced in the field with 18 starts, which includes a C&D third from his only run at Ponte. He was 1/2L behind Sheepscar Lad that day off level weights and gets a 1lb pull here. Whether that’s enough to swing things who knows but I suspect the two may finish close again and there’s significantly more juice in the Channon horse’s price than the fav.

A tricky/trappy race and I’ll hang my hat on Bay Station & Lightoller

3.10 Listed Pipalong Stakes

The big race of the day and one I can dive into using a bit of Trends Profiling…

The last 13 winners ALL passed ALL of the following trends…

GB or IRE bred

NO Headgear

Aged 4yo or 5yo

OR 85+

7-22 previous career starts

0-4 starts in season

Ran on TURF last time out

Giving 13 year stats of…

13/52 | 25% S/R | +£17.73 LSP – W&P 27/52 | 52% S/R

(If you pull in SP 12-1 or less filter you get 13/38 | +£31.73 LSP)

Applying the above to this years runners leaves you with…


…who also happen to be 1st & 2nd in the market!

No real surprise though as at the weights they are both upwards of 11lbs well in on official figures.

One of those two will surely win this but I’ll have a play on the Ralph Beckett mini-angle qualifier CROWNING GLORY. I may have a saver on one of Dawn Of Hope or Pirouette as well…

3.40 – Class 3 Handicap

An all age Handicap. Lovely. Just the kind of race I love to look for ‘Handicap Sleepers’ in. For those of you that have not heard me talk about Handicap Sleepers previously the way I like to describe them are…

Well-handicapped, under-the-radar horses running under prime racing conditions…

…or a horse that is below his highest ever handicap winning mark and has conditions to suit.

Handicap Sleepers are part of my full service and BDH members have a clutch of horses that we follow and sit and wait for them to get their preferred conditions before getting the money on.

There are none of the members Handicap Sleepers set to run at Pontefract but I do have a wider list of my own. It’s a shade ‘looser’ than the members Handicap Sleepers but it employs the same principles. It’s a low-ish strike-rate method so you do have to ride the roller-coaster at times but the rewards can be juicy.

The two of interest in this race are…


Cool Bahamian is a previous course and distance winner (from his only visit to the track) who has slipped back below his last winning mark despite not running all that bad in 4 starts this term. There’s plenty in his favour here and I’m happily have him onside here.

Mishaal is maybe a bit harder to fancy on recent form although last season he was a neck away from winning the Great St Wilfrid consolation race at Ripon and prior to that had won over this C&D from a 5lb higher mark. His form so far this season can probably be explained by looking at his monthly splits as he is 0/18 in the Jan – June period whilst he is 4/25 in the July-Nov period, telling us he’s very much one that comes alive in the second half of the year. With that in mind and the fact he’s on a winning mark at a track he enjoys and ground he handles I’m happy to throw a wild dart at him.

4.10 – 1m2f Maiden

Maiden’s are really not my cup of tea (for punting) but this one looks hot enough, with Appleby, Stoute, Beckett and O’Meara all represented. PRECISION is Stoute’s only runner at the track (his only runner of the day in fact) and the same applies to Appleby with WALTON STREET and both trainers have recent Ponte strike-rates in the 30’s (Stoute 33% – Appleby 38%) so those two certainly warrant plenty respect.

LOVE CONQUERS heads the market and is also a qualifier on my Beckett angle so naturally I’m drawn to that one although if there are any 6’s or 7’s floating around about the Stoute horse tomorrow it would be rude not to have that as a bit of cover…

Overall though I won’t be getting too involved, especially if Love Conquers gets any shorter than 2-1…

4.40 – 1m 3yo Handicap

Thankfully GOLCONDA PRINCE is a qualifier for me on the Fahey angle so that’s cuts out some of the work for this race.

Can I make a case for anything at a bigger price? Not really.

Do I want to be backing any of the ones at a shorter price? Not really.

I’ll take stock here, fire one bullet at Golconda Prince and get ready for the final assault…

5.10 – Apprentice Handicap

An open age Handicap to close out the day and I reach for my Handicap Sleeper potentials.

Four of interest and they are…


Course & Distance winner MYSTERIAL definitely catches my eye. On Good to Firm ground over the 1m2f trip and from a mark of OR 76 or below he has a solid form line of 1101311 (5/7). 1 of those wins came over C&D with today’s pilot Ger O’Neill riding, a young jockey I like as he seems to have a good clock in his head and he’s also 2/4 at the track and 2/10 on the horse. If he can get to the front from his wide draw he could control this race and I fancy his chances under these conditions.

I reckon I may just have a saver on EXCLUSIVE WATERS as well. He’s won his last two starts pretty cosily, has form of 1180103117 (5/10) over 1m2f when racing from OR 63 or less and his jockey is 3/9, 2 places at the track.

A tricky race but I’ll plump with that two, with preference for MYSTERIAL.


And after all that you still have to remind yourself you are punting the whole card and it could easily go t!ts up! But that’s what the drinks are for, to numb the pain (or celebrate the winners!).

Hopefully you enjoyed the read, I won’t live and die by the results but as I was doing the work anyway for my own jolly I thought I’d stick it up for you all to share in my joy or wallow in my pain!

And if you see me tomorrow at Ponte come and say hello…

Ben (BDH)


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