SUNDAY WEEKENDER

15:30 Pontefract The Castle Fillies stakes is a Listed contest ran over 1m4f and could be the highlight of the card at Pontefract on Sunday with a number of powerful connections standing their ground in the feature race. William Haggas sends unbeaten filly Signs here in search of the day’s top prize and she has gone from strength to strength since winning her maiden at Newcastle back in February. She followed that up with two wins in handicap company as well, but only just scraped home by a nose in class 3 handicap last time out to complete the hat trick. This represents a big jump in class into Listed company and so he may be up against it for the four-timer bid. Instead, it may pay to side with Sir Michael Stoute’s exciting four-year-old Abingdon. The horse was highly progressive last season and has already won twice at this level over a similar distance to today, before coming undone for step up to 1m6f in Group 2 Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster when last seen. She is, however, very much the type to resume her progression as a four-year-old and the ones that the yard specialises in. She won fresh last season, so fitness and the layoff is not an issue here and she is the confident pick. Of the remainder, Mark Johnston’s horses are always respected post-Royal Ascot, but despite Yorkidding only having won two starts ago, it is a big ask to expect him to land this given his run in a big handicap at Ascot on Tuesday. ABINGDON (WIN) – NAP

16:00 Pontefract The Pontefract Cup is a handicap ran over 2m2f and it is highly likely that the prize will remain in the north with the best chance in the race lying with a Northern raider. Scottish champion trainer Keith Dalgleish sends his progressive staying handicapper Frederic here in search of the hat trick and the six-year-old gelding can lead the field a merry dance once again. He had a number of today’s rivals behind here last time out when making it 2 wins from 2 runs since his switch to the yard. The latest of those wins was at today’s track and while this is a furlong further, he was not exactly stopping in front when winning with an abundance to spare that day and he gets the nod to land the hat trick here. The main danger will likely come from Hughie Morrison’s Aurora Gray who was given too much to do behind the selection last time out when beaten some 4 & 1/2 lengths, he can get closer today with a pull in the weights, but will likely need the selection to have an off day to land this. FREDERIC (WIN)