The feature race at Haydock on Saturday is the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (15:05), and Pondus looks decent value at 11/2 with Unibet to land the spoils in a competitive renewal of the 1m 2f contest.
After shaping with plenty of promise on debut when a not knocked about fourth of 12 to King Of Change at Nottingham, this James Fanshawe trained three-year-old duly came on for that experience when scoring by three-quarters of a length in a 14-runner contest at the same venue which has thrown-up plenty of subsequent winners.
Pondus then followed-up in fine style in a 1m 2f novice stakes at Sandown where he made all, drawing clear two from home to win unchallenged by five lengths from Aktau.
The runner-up has since landed a gamble on handicap debut at Glorious Goodwood.
That most taking performance saw the son of Sea The Moon sent off a well-backed 4/1 second-favourite for the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes over 1m 4f at Royal Ascot.
Pondus raced too keen out wide and, after being ridden to lead two from home, faded out of contention to finish a 17 1/2 lengths sixth of eight to Japan. The trip was clearly too far for him.
Little to find on ratings
Pondus duly bounced back last time out over the 10 furlong trip of this when beaten just a length into second by Fox Chairman in a Listed contest at Newbury.
The winner is a smart sort who had previously finished a fine 3 1/4 lengths third to subsequent Group 1 winner Circus Maximus in the Listed 1m 2f Dee Stakes at Chester.
Fox Chairman also ran a blinder in defeat at Royal Ascot when a 2 1/4 lengths runner-up to the highly-regarded Sangarius in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes.
The front two also pulled 3 1/2 lengths clear of the third home First Nation, who went into the race on the back of a decent 1 1/4 lengths third to subsequent Group 2 winner Elarqam and has since finished third in a Group 3 at Deauville.
That gives the form a strong look and commands Pondus plenty of respect in this seven-runner line-up.
He also remains open to more progress and as a three-year-old receives a handy 8lb weight-for-age allowance from Addeybb and Wissahickon.
On adjusted ratings, it means that Pondus comes out 1lb ahead of Wissahickon and has just 1lb to find with Addeybb.
So, with the further improvement looking assured and over a trip which he has a 66 per cent strike rate, it makes Pondus the one to be on at the odds on offer.
Addeybb opposable at short Rose Of Lancaster Stakes odds
The betting is headed by Addeybb who has a terrific strike rate of 50 per cent on the turf having won six of his 12 starts, and is also 1-1 over course and distance.
Trained by William Haggas, this five-year-old produced won in terrific style two starts back at Royal Ascot when landing the Listed 1m 2f Wolferton Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths from Magic Wand.
Addeybb travelled ominously well throughout in the hands of Danny Tudhope and overcame a hefty bump before being produced to take up the running just inside the final furlong.
Tudhope then only had to give the son of Pivotal a shake of the reins and he quickened instantly to put the race to bed and win easing down.
It was a visually stunning display, but Addeybb was unable to back it up at York last month when a 3 1/4 lengths runner-up to Elarqam in a Group 2. He ran very flat on soft ground which was ideal.
This was an underwhelming and disappointing performance, so Addeybb needs to bounce back. On a line through the winner there is also very little between him and Pondus on form.
Therefore, at odds of 5/4 with William Hill, Addeybb looks plenty short enough and worth taking on in this Rose Of Lancaster Stakes renewal.
Wissahickon a big player under Frankie
Despite having to shoulder 9st 8lb and give weight all-round, the John Gosden trained Wissahickon looks sure to go well in the hands of red-hot jockey Frankie Dettori.
Ths four-year-old has won eight of his 12 career starts and turned last year’s ultra-competitive Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket into a procession when showing a smart turn of foot to easily beat Mordin by 3 3/4 lengths.
He went on to land a Listed contest at Lingfield, before taking the step up into Group 3 company in his stride at the same venue when coasting clear to beat Court House by 3 3/4 lengths without having to break sweat.
That success saw Wissahickon sent off the 1/3 favourite for the Easter Classic on All-Weather Finals Day at the Surrey venue, but he ran below par to finish a seven-length runner-up to Matterhorn.
He was never really travelling at any stage and it may have been a case of the race coming too quickly.
Connections have wisely given him a 113 day break to freshen-up, and the son of Tapit is the highest rated in the field off 115.
Wissahickon also hails from a stable in flying form and operating at an incredible 36 per cent strike rate in the last 14 days at the time of writing.
So, at odds of 11/2 with Paddy Power, he appeals more than Addeybb and rates the main danger to Pondus.
Wadilsafa can’t be discounted in Rose Of Lancaster Stakes
Off those at bigger odds, Wadilsafa looks a lively outsider at 12/1 with Betfair. This son of the mighty Frankel progressed through last season when winning three of his four starts.
In the first of those on seasonal reappearance at Newmarket, Wadilsafa forged clear to beat Herculean in a 13-runner novice stakes contest.
It was a most taking performance and one which saw connections pitch him into Group 3 company next time up at Royal Ascot.
Although Wadilsafa eventually finished a 7 1/2 lengths ninth of 16 to Hunting Horn in the 1m 2f Hampton Court Stakes, he shaped a bit better than the bare result.
He then took advantage of a drop in class to resume winning ways at York when destroying the opposition in a mile handicap and easily beating Get Knotted by 4 1/2 lengths.
Wadilsafa went on to round off the campaign with an easy 1 3/4 lengths success over Hathal in the Listed 1m Fortune Stakes at Sandown.
There was also lots to like about his second start this season when a 1 1/4 lengths runner-up to the progressive Happy Power in a Listed contest at York.
Although then beaten 8 1/4 lengths last time out when sixth of eight to Beat The Bank at Ascot, that was a competitive Group 2 affair and this represents a return to calmer waters.
The yard has also been amongst the winners of late and the booking of crack Irish jockey Chris Hayes to do the steering for the first time is an eye-catching one, so it would be no surprise to see Wadilsafa outrun his odds.