Small but select team over the next 48 hours

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June 7

A relatively quiet week in prospect, but, hopefully, Smith’s Bay, who will start odds-on at Market Rasen today, will follow up his recent Warwick victory, and he looked in top order as he came up the all-weather on Wednesday.

However, we have only two runners on Saturday, including Kings Royal Hussar, who was caught on the post on his comeback at Nottingham but must have bright prospects of going one better when he reverts to the all-weather at Chelmsford.

We also run a promising newcomer in Ned Pepper, who also looked the part when coming up the same strip with two companions.

If Ned Pepper, proves as tough on the racecourse as his namesake did in the film True Grit then the Scotts, his owner-breeders, might be in for a bit of fun over the next couple of years.

Alan tells me that True Grit is Bob Scott’s favourite film, hence the reason why he has named this Intello gelding Ned Pepper.

Played by Robert Duvall in the 1969 film adaptation, which also starred John Wayne, and Barry Pepper in the 2010 version, Ned Pepper, is an infamous outlaw who would not be the sort of guy you’d like to meet down a dark alley, with his slightly damaged jaw and facial scarring making him a very unattractive character.

Pepper has many a set-to with Marshal Reuben Cogburn in the film, and, having survived two close encounters with the hero of the movie, the outlaw almost makes it third time lucky, killing the Marshal’s horse but just as he is about to finish off Cogburn, he gets picked off himself from as shot by Laboeuf some 300 yards away. Bring back the Westerns!