Volcanic Sky Set to Double Up at Pontefract

It’s Pontefract Ladies Day tomorrow afternoon but the star of the show on the course looks set to be a male. In the feature handicap of the day, Volcanic Sky heads up to the West Yorkshire venue from Newmarket for trainer Saeed Bin Suroor and he is taken to follow up a recent win at Leicester, despite a small rise in the weights.

Volcanic Sky has been put up 4lb for his win at Leicester, but there was a lot to like about that. The winning distance that day was two and three quarter lengths, so the 4lb rise is about right based on that. However, he fully controlled the race that day from the front, set a nice even gallop and kicked clear when needed. He wasn’t under any pressure that day, and had there been someone to challenge I think he could have pulled a little more out. That makes him good value for the win, and I think he looks nicely handicapped under a 4lb rise here.

He goes up from a class 4 handicap to a class 3, although this doesn’t look to be the strongest of races for the grade and prize money on offer. Many of those against Volcanic Sky are exposed handicappers who hold no secrets from the handicapper, whereas Volcanic Sky could still prove to be a little better than his current rating suggests he is.

Of those in opposition, My Reward stands out as being a horse that is more than capable of winning at this level, and his time could be soon. He was highly tried at Ayr recently but both before and after that he ran two very good races. He came third at this track three starts ago, and his second at Ripon last time out was another very solid run. He started the season off a handicap mark of 100, and is down to 88 for this race. He won over C&D last summer off a mark of 103 in a class 2 contest, which shows just how well handicapped he is. However, having said all of that, he has ran poorly on a number of occasions, which is why he has taken a slide down the ratings. He is now a seven year old, and this could be the start of him regressing in ability, and when you add in his inconsistency, that is enough for me to pass over on him.

This all points me back in the direction of Volcanic Sky and his impressive run last time out. There could well be more to come from this horse, and anything else to come makes him a very nicely weighted horse. He won well last time out and was good value for the winning margin, I think he had more to offer if needed, and we will see that here. Pontefract is good for front runners, so don’t be surprised to see him lead again, and if he does I think he can make all in the feature.