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Monday 25 September 2017

Abingdon is set to strike

Abingdon, with Andrea Atzeni on board, wins the EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes at York last August. Pic: Cranhamphoto.com
Abingdon, with Andrea Atzeni on board, wins the EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes at York last August. Pic: Cranhamphoto.com

Pontefract stages a fine card to shake off the post-Royal Ascot blues, with ABINGDON the shout on what could be a good day for Michael Stoute.

Stoute's inmate features in a strong-looking renewal of the totepool Pontefract Castle Fillies' Stakes and should take some beating if she is fit enough.

That could itself be a contentious issue, though, as she has been off the track for nearly 300 days.

Be that as it may, Abingdon's class could see her home and she might not need to be fully wound up to take this Listed race over a mile and a half.

The 107-rated daughter of Street Cry is twice a winner at this level and looked especially smart in the Galtres Stakes at York last summer, when she defeated To Eternity by a length and a quarter.

Her maiden form that year also reads very well as Abingdon was too good for Ajman Princess and Skiffle in a hot Ascot race last May.

Very sweet

Stoute was obviously very sweet on her as a three-year-old, and she was pitched into Group Two company on her last start of 2016.

Abingdon ran okay in the Park Hill Stakes, but she did not look entirely comfortable over a mile and three-quarters and ended up finishing fifth.

Back over a shorter trip and a proven operator on fast ground, she is clearly not coming up to Pontefract for the cakes.

Stoute has a clutch of other grand chances in Yorkshire, with Lockheed's half-sister PROCEDURE an interesting runner in the novice stakes for fillies.

It is rare a Freemason Lodge inmate is at the foot of the weights for any race, so Royal runner SWIFTSURE could also be worth a play in the mile-and-a-quarter handicap.

He showed spits and spots of form as a juvenile but has since been gelded.

And though it could be viewed upon as rather idealistic and lazy punting, perhaps a first-time visor will do its job on stablemate ARISTOCRATIC in the fillies' handicap over a mile.

She must banish memories of a poor show at Ascot last time out, but her form before that had been decent.

AURORA GRAY should be backed in the Pontefract Cup.

Hughie Morrison's stayer shaped promisingly at this track on June 12 when she galloped on strongly for third place behind Frederic, with whom she renews rivalry on much better terms.

GOWRAN: 2.05 Medal Of Honour, 2.35 Betty Loch, 3.05 Mizaah, 3.35 Queluz, 4.05 Spanish Steps, 4.35 Diarist, 5.05 Ceol Na Nog.

HEXHAM: 1.50 Horace Hazel, 2.20 Peace And Co, 2.50 Symphony Of Angels, 3.20 Heist, 3.50 Desert Island Dusk, 4.20 Mo Rouge, 4.50 Motion To Strike.

PONTEFRACT: 2.00 Procedure, 2.30 Count Simon, 3.00 Swiftsure, 3.30 ABINGDON (NAP), 4.00 Aurora Gray, 4.30 Aristocratic, 5.00 Logi.

WORCESTER: 2.10 Ballinure, 2.40 Dragon De La Tour, 3.10 Such A Legend, 3.40 Wishfull Dreaming, 4.10 Utility, 4.40 Weld Arab, 5.10 Included.

DOUBLE: Abingdon and Aurora Gray.

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