Jan Van Hoof looks Fahey’s best chance at Pontefract

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The final meeting of Pontefract’s season looks a corker and after landing a double on the corresponding card last term all eyes will be on the red-hot Richard Fahey stable.

The Malton-based handler saddles four runners in West Yorkshire this afternoon with the trainer’s best chance of a winners looking like Jan Van Hoof (4.00) under Tony Hamilton the 6f Handicap.

The selection made a winning seasonal reappearance at the track in June and followed-up on his next start over the minimum trip at Newmarket. Despite disappointing in competitive affairs at Goodwood at Newmarket thereafter the four-year-old put his best foot forward when third on Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh and, with that form already franked by George Bowen’s excellent run at Ayr on Saturday, is a confident selection to reward each-way support.

Hamilton partners Lucky Bridle in the feature 10f Handicap with the six-year-old potentially well-treated based on his form over both flat and hurdles for Willie Mullins. He’s failed to sparkle for new trainer Chris Grant however and preference lies instead with John Quinn’s unexposed El Beau (4.35) from the foot of the weights.

The selection won a competitive handicap at York two starts back and followed-up with a creditable third last week at Ayr. Apprentice Joe Doyle claims an excellent 3lb and can guide the gelding to a third flat success.

Charlie Appleby’s string tend to come on for the run and Tautology, a half-brother to Hunter’s Light, is respected for the maiden over a mile but is on this occasion overlooked for Roger Varian’s Absolute Zero (5.10) under Paul Mulrennan.

The selection built on his debut at York finishing second last week at Sandown and with further improvement likely can shed the maiden tag at the third time of asking.

The Group 3 Tattersall Stakes is this afternoon’s feature at Newmarket and a fascinating renewal with Andre Fabre’s Lawmaking and Jim Bolger’s Sanus Per Aquam both respected with their French and Irish raiders respectively. Both colts bring group form to the table but Tasleet (3.40) boasts the strongest form of the field and can score for William Haggas and Paul Hanagan.

The son of Showcasing chased home subsequent Prix Morny winner Shalaa in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood before following-up at York’s Ebor meeting and should prove even better stepped up tackling seven furlongs for the first time.

Should he settle better than Hernandoshidesaway (4.50) would be a confident selection in the mile and a half handicap.

Michael Dods’ son of Hernando finished second in competitive handicaps earlier in the campaign at Chester and Haydock, before going one better last month at Pontefract. He pulled too hard in the Melrose Handicap at York but still looks ahead of the handicapper and is worth another chance to give weight and a beating to his eight rivals under Jamie Spencer.

The smell of burnt fingers follows Little Swift (5.45) to Chelmsford Park with David Simcock’s filly fancied to shed the maiden tag at the fourth time of asking.

The well-bred daughter of Kodiac has been a beaten favourite on her last two starts, finishing second in warm maidens at Newbury and Ripon, but returns from a short break with the stable in much better form and can make a winning debut on the all-weather.

David Lanigan’s Sneaking Budge (8.45) failed to justify market support earlier this month at Lingfield, finishing fifth on his belated seasonal reappearance but leaving connections plenty to work with.

The son of Nayef was making his first start of almost ten months but has been sent off a well-backed favourite on both visits to a racecourse and now stripped fitter can progress further.

Aintree’s Group 2 Novices’ Hurdle winner Cyrius Darius (3.20) makes his debut over fences at Perth and should prove even better over the larger obstacles.

Malcolm Jefferson’s six-year-old was unbeaten in all three starts over timber, completing the hat-trick at Aintree’s Grand National meeting in the spring, and looks a fascinating animal for the yard to go to war with this season. The son of Overbury looks set to stay over the minimum trip and is 14/1 with BetVictor for Cheltenham Festival success in next year’s Arkle.

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