On our last visit to the Lincolnshire track 14 days ago we came away with two winners, and on Friday we have another four chances. The going at the time of writing is good, and they are watering to maintain.
Who's The Guv'Nor is finally showing the promise of his Market Rasen bumper debut in May 2018, when finishing sixth, but over the course of the next two and a half years, which included wind surgery, he failed to get competitive in five starts, until finishing second, although at a very respectable distance at Carlisle in March of this year. On his latest appearance at Market Rasen 29 days ago he left that run well behind with a much improved effort again, to go down by only a head. He now steps up in trip to two miles and seven furlongs which is a plus, and Alain Cawley retains the ride, in the maiden hurdle at 1.40.pm.
Excalibur runs in Division 1 of the extended 0-100 two miles and four furlongs handicap hurdle at 2.15.pm, where he will be reunited with our stable conditional jockey Emma Smith-Chaston who won on him at Sedgefield in November 2019. Excalibur ran his best race in sometime at Newcastle in April when finishing fourth, but disappointed 10 days later at Sedgefield when never travelling, and eventually pulling up, it is possible that the race came too quickly after the Newcastle run. All of Excalibur's best form has been with some give in the ground, so he wouldn't want it to get any faster.
Thirty five minutes later at 2.50.pm, Ballycrystal will carry top weight in Division 2 of the handicap hurdle, with Becky Smith retaining the ride. Ballycrystal was a 130 horse back in 2018, but had badly lost his way. He twice finished in the frame for us last season, before finally coming good at Newcastle in April, when winning by six lengths. He then disappointed at Southwell on his latest start back in early May, where he may not have found the ground fast enough. A repeat of that six lengths win from his revised mark of 6lb higher in the weights, will see him in the firing line.
Our final runner is Onenightintown at 4.0.pm, in a 0-105 two miles and three furlongs novices handicap chase, with Alain Cawley once again in the saddle. Onenightintown made the frame for the first time in 15 starts at Market Rasen two weeks ago, but if he is to get competitive here then he will have to pull out even more, as he races from a 4lb higher mark, with him being 11lb out of the weights.
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Good luck to the connections, Mr & Mrs I P Earnshaw, Ursa Major And Partners, A & S Associates, and The Rat Pack Racing Club.