Matt Brocklebank looks ahead to Monday's racing in Britain with the Nap selection in action at Kempton Park.
Every day, our team of racing experts will provide their strongest fancies and best bets from each meeting, headlined by the Sporting Life Nap.
BLUE CABLE – 4.45 Kempton (NAP)
There isn’t much pace signed on here at all and it wouldn’t be a great surprise to see Joe Fanning take the bull by the horns and really try dominate from the front on BLUE CABLE.
She’s one of the least exposed runners in the field, has joined a new yard since her encouraging, staying-on fourth over the same course and distance when last seen in October and competes from a 1lb lower mark on this occasion.
The fitting of first-time cheekpieces is another potential source of improvement in a race that isn’t going to take much winning.
MERCURIST – 1.40 Chelmsford
MERCURIST made a really nice move from the two-furlong marker to the one before ultimately flattening out to be fourth at Kempton recently but there are reasons to believe he can build on that run here.
The son of Muhaarar was making his handicap debut and first start for the best part of a year after being gelded, so in terms of fitness he could be significantly sharper on this occasion.
The drop back from a mile to seven furlongs looks a wise next move on the evidence of that and, from the same basement mark of 46 and Robert Havlin taking over from a 3lb claimer, this looks the time to back him to get off the mark.
ECHO WATT – 2.50 Plumpton
Richard Hobson’s ECHO WATT clocked back-to-back handicap chase wins last February and looks up to repeating the winter double at Plumpton on Monday.
The lightly-raced seven-year-old was really strong at the line at Bangor less than a fortnight ago and could have got off quite lightly with just a 4lb subsequent rise in the ratings.
He should appreciate the even sterner test of stamina on this occasion.
PEERLESS PERCY - 2.25 Southwell
Things didn't work out for PEERLESS PERCY upped in trip in a falsely-run race at Wolverhampton last time and he's fancied to bounce back in the Betway Handicap.
He'd previously gone down a nose at Newcastle and ran well when third on his first start here. He's only a pound higher and in receipt of weight all round can open his account under Paul Mulrennan.
HOLD FAST - 5.10 Wolverhampton (NAP)
She isn't one to have complete faith in but HOLD FAST is a well handicapped filly and a danger to all in the betyourway At Betway Handicap.
Andrew Balding's charge has slipped to a mark five pounds below the one from which she finished third in a mile-and-a-half handicap here in September. Ten furlongs is fine for her and she shaped as if very much needed it when returning from ten weeks off at Chelmsford last time.
She'll be sharper for that and Hayley Turner takes over in the saddle. Others are more reliable in this but none better handicapped and if it's a going day the selection will go close.
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