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Horse Racing - Racing: Andrew Cooper's Pontefract Pomfret Stakes tips

More than £100,000 is up for grabs at Pontefract on Sunday and the spotlight shines on the Listed Pomfret Stakes, as Andrew Cooper pinpoints his best bets.

2.55 Pontefract
Strawman @ 1/1
2pts win

4.05 Pontefract
Modern News @ 1/1
1pt win

5.15 Pontefract
Young Tiger @ 1/1
1pt ew

Strawman can have the final say

Tim Easterby has won the 2.55 for the last three years and five of the last ten, as 2020 victor Highwaygrey bids to extend the trainer's good run.

He has a chance, but connections feel the need to reach for headgear for the first time and Strawman is preferred.

Gemma Tutty has hit the ground running since taking the reins from mum Karen and my pick was only usurped as the new trainer's highest achiever in Racing Post Rating terms by Mostly Cloudy at Ascot on Friday.

To be fair, he'd marked himself down as a gelding going places before the switch of training, licence, but it was his Redcar win in June that took his form to a new level.

The second, third and fourth there have won five between them since and a 2lb higher mark can surely be defied.

He ran okay in the Cumberland Plate next time and in a stronger York contest 16 days ago. Both efforts suggest this strong traveller will benefit from returning to this trip of 1m2f.

Read all about it - Modern News is the one

There are a few angles into the Pomfret Stakes at 4.05, but last year's winner Brunch is a good place to start.

Michael Dods' likeable gelding pulled it out of the fire under William Buick 12 months ago, but coming here off the back of a low-key run isn't ideal.

Astro King and Magical Morning have some big handicap runs on their CVs and this isn't a huge step up, but Modern News, for the Godolphin/Buick combination, is favoured, having been there and done it in small-field Listed contests.

He didn't beat much (albeit winning with authority) at Windsor in May and is burdened with a 3lb penalty, but his last run, when trying to give the same weight away to My Oberon, is particularly persuasive.

He was chinned on the line, but can gain compensation here.

Sole three-year-old Alflaila is also bang there on the figures, while Dubai Icon - Godolphin's other runner - and Marie's Diamond, who took this in 2019, could set the pace.

Young Tiger to pounce late

The closing 5f handicap at 5.15 should be fast and furious, with the likes of Dapper Man and Canaria Prince lining up, and it might be worth backing Young Tiger to run on into a place, at least.

Tom Tate's nine-year-old clearly isn't the force of old, but there are reasons to be hopeful.

Beaten just a length into third when last tacking a Class 6 four runs ago and recording Racing Post Ratings of 77 when landing this two years ago, 67 and 60 on his last three course-and-distance runs, bode well for him when tackling this sprint off a mark of 50.

Apprentice Alex Jary couldn't settle him last time and those early exertions told in the final furlong, but he started just 8/1 for that 0-70 and at least that effort proves the fire still burns.

By Andrew Cooper

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