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Nawton trainer David O’Meara takes a shot at Beverley Bullet glory with Pepper Lane
Pepper Lane, who returned to red-hot form at Ripon a fortnight ago when repeating her success of 12 months ago in the historic Great St Wilfrid Handicap, gets the chance to show her mettle in Listed company at Beverley tomorrow.
The £32,000 Betfred Beverley Bullet is the target for the David O’Meara-trained mare, who carries the colours of North Yorkshire owners Kevin Nicholson and Lynne Lumley.
Pepper Lane has her quirks. Prior to her latest winning display, she had proved difficult at the stalls and was tending to lose ground at the start, which obviously ruins all chance of winning competitive sprints.
She was, though, equipped with a hood for the first time at Ripon and, not only did she break on terms, she showed her rivals a clean pair of heels to comfortably win a well-contested handicap.
Pepper Lane faces stiffer opposition tomorrow, against the likes of Dinkum Diamond, Masamah, Borderlescott and stable-mates Free Zone and Move In Time, representing Bryan Smart, who won this prestigious race last year with Tangerine Trees.
But, when things go right, she is clearly a very talented performer and the drop back to five furlongs from six should not inconvenience her. Well drawn, she is entitled to make a bold bid.
The £20,000 Betfred Mobile Lotto Handicap is the main supporting race. Cases can be made out of all eight runners, but marginal preference is for Watheeq, who won his second race of the season at Lingfield last time and still figures on a handy mark. Confined to only four outings, he is open to further improvement.
Richard Whitaker has his string in fine heart and Diamond Blue was a winner for him on this course earlier this month. Amy Ryan again takes the mount on the four-year-old, who is fancied to defy a 4lb rise in the weights.
Richard Fahey has several runner on the card with solid chances, perhaps none better than Hi There, who is napped to lift the Betfred ‘The Bonus King’ Handicap.
Narrowly beaten at Haydock two starts back, Hi There did not enjoy much luck when third at Newmarket on his latest outing. He figures at the foot of the weights here under Freddie Tylicki, who is France-bound on Sunday to ride in a Listed race at Longchamp.
Whatever his haul at Beverley, Fahey also has good prospects at Chester, not least with Area Fifty One, who turns out quickly after running the race of his life to finish a close-up fifth in the Ebor at York last Saturday.
The slightly shorter trip of the Golden Square Shopping Centre Warrington Handicap, a £35,000 Listed affair, should suit him and, provided his Knavesmire efforts have not taken their toll, he should give David Nolan a good ride.
Malton -based Nolan has double prospects aboard David O’Meara’s Mayoman, on whom he rode a brilliant race to gain a narrow success at Ayr early last month. He goes in the Manchester Airport Handicap Fahey’s White Coppice makes appeal in the British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing Maiden Stakes.
Green and raw on his debut on this course earlier in the month, he recovered from a slow start to finish second. He can almost certainly do better.
Mark Johnston can do no wrong at present and the Middleham trainer saddles Bannock in the £45,000 Chester Standard Handicap.
If he can reproduce the form he showed in Listed company when second to Gordon Lord Byron at York last Saturday then Bannock ought to go well back in handicap company, despite his weight burden.
2.05 Willowing, 2.40 Hi There (NAP), 3.15 Watheeq, 3.45 Diamond Blue, 4.15 Pepper Lane, 4.50 Elegant Girl, 5.25 Uncle Brit.
1.55 White Coppice, 2.30 Area Fifty One, 3.05 Bannock, 3.40 Hoodna, 4.20 Mayoman, 4.55 Ethics Girl, 5.30 Economic Crisis.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Bath, Market Rasen, Newton Abbot and Sandown.
Today’s meetings: Bangor, Salisbury, Sandown, Thirsk and Wolverhampton.