Pontefract Course Guide and Key Stats

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Timeform’s in-depth guide to Pontefract, featuring all the key facts and figures for the final game of the Sky Bet Sunday series of 2022.


Timeform’s Pontefract Course Guide

Left-handed, over two miles long, with considerable inclines and a steep uphill finish.

Despite the inclines, the run-in is only two furlongs long and leading runners can prove difficult to remount, certainly in races up to a mile and a quarter.

In very extensive testing, jockeys sometimes race wide in search of better ground, swinging to the side of the grandstand in the straight.

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Main active jockeys in Pontefract

Sorted by strike rate over the past five years (minimum 20 rides)

  • Ryan Moore 31.25% (10-32)
  • Silvestre de Sousa 27.52% (30-109)
  • Hollie Doyle 24.24% (8-33)
  • Ben Curtis 22.50% (36-160)
  • Danny Tudhope 19.34% (41-212)

Other points to consider

  • Danny Tudhope is the most prolific jockey at Pontefract over the past five years with 41 winners – Ben Curtis (36) and Silvestre de Sousa (30) lead the opposition. Tudhope picked up three wins from 12 runs (25.00% strike rate) teaming up with William Haggas, so watch out for Bartzella (16:45) as she tries to add to her Listed success at Goodwood the last time.
  • Ryan Moore has no rides on Sunday’s card at Pontefract, but Silvestre de Sousa, who has an impressive 27.52% strike rate on the course over the past five years, will be in action in four of the seven races. Perhaps his best chance of winning is Twilight Prince (17:15), who can run from the same mark as when he was beaten just a neck in Bath last time out.

Main active coaches at Pontefract

Sorted by strike rate over the past five years (minimum 20 riders)

  • Ralph Beckett 35.14% (13-37)
  • Mr. Michael Stoute 32.61% (15-46)
  • Archie Watson 30.43% (7-23)
  • Andrew Balding 26.09% (6-23)
  • Hugh Morrison 26.09% (6-23)

Other points to consider

  • Yorkshire manager Richard Fahey is Pontefract’s most prolific manager in the past five years with 42 winners – Tim Easterby and Charlie & Mark Johnston lead the opposition (35 each). Surprisingly, Fahey has no runners on Sunday’s card, but Easterby (nine runners) and the Johnstons (seven) will be well represented.
  • Ralph Beckett and Sir Michael Stoute also have no riders on Sunday’s card at Pontefract, but Archie Watson, who has an excellent 30.43% strike rate on the track over the past five years, saddles the course specialist Corinthia Knight (18:45). Corinthia Knight is just 2lbs heavier than it was when it won Pontefract two weeks ago – its fourth career success on the track – and Harry Davies, who is well worth his 5lb claim, takes over in the saddle sunday.

racing style

The tactical advantage the lead runners have in any given race, both on the flat and over the jumps, should never be underestimated. For example, if you had backed all horses that recorded a Timeform EPF (Early Position Figure) of 1 in UK flat racing since the start of the 2017 season, you would be running at a strike rate of 17.98% and celebrate a profit of over 21,000 points at Betfair SP.

In contrast, statistics tell us that backing heist horses just doesn’t pay off in the long run. Horses that recorded an EPF of 4 (backwards) in UK flat racing over the same period have a success rate of 7.55%, while horses that recorded an EPF of 5 ( rear) performed even worse with a pass rate of just 5.51. %.

  • Time Form EPFs range from 1 to 5 and help explain where a horse was positioned during a race. An EPF of 1 is recorded by a horse that led and an EPF of 5 is recorded by a horse that was retained.

It should be noted that these numbers can vary significantly from course to course. At one end of the spectrum there’s Epsom, where favorites have a strike rate of 27.38% since the start of the 2017 season, and at the other end there’s Ascot, where favorites have a strike rate strike rate of only 10.50%. for the same period.

Like Epsom, Pontefract is a track where the favorites seem to be particularly effective. For context, horses that have recorded an EPF of 1 have a strike rate of 26.09% in all Flat races run at Pontefract since the start of the 2017 season, leaving it behind Epsom and ahead of Ripon (23, 84%), Chester (23.36%) and Beverley (23.20%) among the top five tracks for favorites in Britain.

Meanwhile, horses that have recorded an EPF of 2 have a strike rate of 13.35% in all Flat races run at Pontefract since the start of the 2017 season, once again faring better than horses that recorded an EPF of 3 (9.35%), 4 (7.57%) or 5 (5.20%).


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