ON ROUTE (stall three of 11) took a step forward when runner-up at Wolverhampton last time and the addition of first-time cheekpieces could see her off the mark in the opening 6f starsports.bet Nursery at Lingfield on Tuesday (1.30).
The Sir Mark Prescott-trained filly fared best of the prominent racers last time and there has been a glut of winners in first-time cheekpieces on the all-weather in the last few days. Her trainer has used this headgear on his sand runners 61 times in the past five years, scoring with 15 of those (24.6% strike-rate) for a profit of £32.32 to a £1 level stake at SP.
PEPYS (stall nine of 11) is usually a prominent racer and, going into his 7.5f Beverley run on 1 September, had received the following close-up comments for his three previous runs – ‘early leader’, ‘soon slight lead’ and ‘in touch’. However, he blew the start and looked to have lost all chance as the track was strongly favouring early pace. Graham Lee didn’t panic and nursed him back into contention, with the pair getting up close home to deny the 9-4 favourite Poet’s Dawn by a nose. The Bryan Smart-trained four-year-old now has 2018 form figures of 14122111 (5-8) and can confirm the form with the runner-up in the Racing UK Straight Mile Series Handicap at Redcar (4.10).
MUDALLEL (stall six of nine) has a poor record on turf and he also struggles in big fields, so I’m happy to excuse his 13th of 15 in a 1m handicap at Kempton last time. His all-weather record when faced with ten or fewer rivals reads 1112 (3-4), with the defeat by half a length when the winner got first run at Chelmsford. He has ideal conditions in the 32Red Handicap at Kempton tonight (7.00) and the first-time cheekpieces might eke out further improvement.
On Route – Lingfield 1.30 (2pts win, 3-1 generally)
Pepys – Redcar 4.10 (1pt win, 13-2 Skybet, Paddy Power)
Mudallel – Kempton 7.00 (2pts win, 13-2 generally)