This race will come down to Naamoos and THE ROSSTAFARIAN, but preference is just for The Rosstafarian for Hugo Palmer. Palmer has had a decent season with his juveniles, with 13 winners from 56 runners for the season. But, he just hasn’t had a really good one just yet.
The Rosstafarian might just change that, as he was an extremely impressive winner of his maiden on debut at Salisbury and he was really strong in the final furlong that day. The time compared very favourably with the other maiden on the card and while it is the same trip here, the stiff finish at Pontefract looks sure to suit him. He could be quite exciting.
SOUTH FOREST was making his third start in a handicap at Tipperary last time when the subject of strong market support and she very nearly landed the touch, running on well to be second to an in-form rival in Angel Palanas.
Angel Palanas won his next start at Leopardstown off 8lbs higher, so it was a decent effort for South Forest to run him close. South Forest has gone up 3lbs for that effort, but that is warranted and the application of cheekpieces here might just help her in the finish here. She has every chance of getting off the mark from her decent draw.
Trainer Richard Whitaker hit a right purple patch a couple of weeks ago, sending out four winners in a row over the course of two days. He might be able to add to those winners with ROUND THE ISLAND. He is a bit of a course specialist with five wins at Pontefract, but he hasn’t won here since last September
Our selection only finds himself a pound higher here than he was winning getting that win. Round The Island has been in decent form this season, winning at Ripon in July off a mark of 52 – but he has hit the frame on his last three starts off marks of 27 & 58. He runs off 57 here, he’s well drawn in stall 2 and soft ground is fine for him. Everything is in place to run well here.
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