Smart Stat: 2 - Ralph Beckett's number of winners in past 10 runnings
Ralph Beckett has a good record in this race and Iconic Queen holds strong claims. She opened her account in a listed race at Chester in August and shaped well on her nursery debut at Newmarket last month. That looked a good race of its type, and that level of form sets the standard now moving into listed company. There could be even more to come from her and she looks the one to be with.
Smart Stat: £46.78 - Ian Williams's profit to a £1 level stake with favourites
The Grand Visir is a smart stayer on his day, running about as well as could be expected in the Doncaster Cup when third to Spanish Mission last time. He goes well when the mud is flying, running to his best form when hitting the frame, beaten a length in the two and a half mile handicap at Goodwood in Jully. The stiff track at Pontefract will suit him well and he looks a class above in thid line-up.
Smart Stat: 2 - Tim Easterby's number of winners in past 10 runnings
Tim Easterby has had success in this race in recent times, and Cruyff Turn makes plenty of appeal. He opened his account at Redcar last month, and confirmed that improvement on handicap debut at Ayr two weeks later, finishing runner-up in a good-looking race which is starting to work out. He is well bred and should appreciate this step up in trip, so is definitely one to side with.