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16:30 Pontefract The flat season may have only just started but we’re presented with a very nice looking class 2 handicap at Pontefract this afternoon. Some real handicapping stalwarts are set to line up with the likes of Fire Fighting due to enter the stalls. The Mark Johnston trained eight year old has contested some brilliant handicaps in his time and has visited all the major meetings but sadly as he approaches what must surely be the twilight of his career may only have enough left in the tank to play a minor role today.If breeding was the only thing to go off you couldn’t look anywhere else but the top weight Frankuus. His father the closely named Frankel is seen by many as possibly the greatest flat horse of all time and if he inherited just a modicum of the talent his Sire had then he’d win a race of this nature doing cartwheels. Sadly the five year old hasn’t lived up to the talent he displayed in his first year on the track and after having a break from racing and subsequently changing trainers still hasn’t shown the spark he once displayed. If he were to win today that’d be one hell of a training performance but he’s had too many poor runs to follow him with any great confidence.There’s a few youngsters that look to possess tonnes of potential in the shape of Ayutthaya and Dukhan. The former is trained by Kevin Ryan who isn’t based all that far away in Yorkshire and was a very consistent three year old in the early to mid part of last year. His gelding operation didn’t spark vast improvement and although he competed in a listed race finished well down the field in his last two races. If Ryan can get the horse back to what he showed in early 2018 then he becomes a decent each way selection but I just cannot see past Dukhan.Dukhan hails from the yard of trainer Hugo Palmer who sends just two runners up for this meeting tomorrow all the way from Newmarket. What is even more telling is that jockey James Doyle (who is some peoples outside chance to claim the Champion Jockeys title) travels up to Pontefract for just the one ride! That in itself is a very big clue as to the horses chances before we even look through the form book. The four year old seems to go very well after a bit of time off the track having finished 1st, 2nd and 1st when returning from an absence of nearly 90 days or more. He wont be put off by the ground and after looking quite impressive when he claimed victory in his last race another canted past the winning post with his head in front is hard to argue against.  DUKHAN (WIN) – NAP

14:00 Pontefract – BILLY ROBERTS (WIN) *Next Best*


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