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Pontefract best bets: Ardbraccan ticks the right boxes in wide-open handicap

There’s plenty in with a shout of landing this one-mile handicap, and our tipsters have managed to narrow the 10-runner field down to their best-value contender.

16:45 Pontefract: Charles Stewart & Co Steve Evans Memorial Handicap  (1 mile)

The bookies have installed Diddy Man at the top of the betting, and Harriet Bethell’s three-year-old has been gaining further support through the morning as he looks to rekindle the form that earned him back-to-back successes back in April.

Jostling for the favourite tag is the lightly-raced Bateman, who appears to have plenty in his favour as he makes his handicap bow carrying bottom weight under Rossa Ryan, who boasts an impressive 30 percent win rate from his previous 47 rides at the Yorkshire track.

The significant step-up to this mile trip might prove a masterstroke for Gemma Tutty’s three-year-old, but with question marks against each of the market leaders, our final nod for best value goes to the Michael Appleby-trained Ardbraccan.

This five year-old mare won at the third attempt as a juvenile in 2021, and although it took 20 outings to make her next visit to a winner’s enclosure, the signs are that she should not have to wait so long for her third victory.

Suggested best bet: Ardbraccan in the 16:45 at Pontefract

That overdue second win came on season debut at Nottingham in April, when the closest of her 11 rivals was more than three lengths adrift, and she has followed that promising start with encouraging figures of 53242 in her five subsequent efforts.

Her most recent outing was at Doncaster 11 days ago, when she was far from disgraced in coming a half-length runner-up behind the thriving Beylerbeyi, who went on to complete a quickfire winning hat-trick a week later.

Tom Marquand has raced aboard Ardbraccan before, but it seems a significant move to book the in-form high-profile jockey, who has also enjoyed his previous visits to Pontefract, having landed nine winners and a further 12 each-way places from his last 41 attempts here.



READ MORE: Pontefract racing tips: Best bets for Tuesday July 9

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