Bowler in Betfair swing
David Johnson admits the unbeaten Swing Bowler faces by far the most difficult test of her career in Saturday's Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.
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The outstandingly-bred mare is close to the owner's heart as her dam is Lady Cricket, a top-class hurdler and chaser in his famous blue and green colours.
Now six and campaigned sparingly and cautiously by trainer David Pipe, Swing Bowler took novice events last season at Ludlow and Newton Abbot and only reappeared on New Year's Day at Musselburgh, winning a valuable handicap hurdle in impressive style
"She has done nothing but surprise us, really, as she has never been exciting in her work at home," said Johnson.
"However, not many mares win five times from five races and her most recent run in Scotland was her best."
It will be like old times at the weekend, with Johnson's old ally Timmy Murphy sweating down for a light weight in a big handicap for the team.
"Timmy will ride her," the owner confirmed. "It's a huge step up in a race that would not look out of place at Cheltenham.
"I think she has it all to do, to be honest, but 10st 1lb is a nice weight and the ground should not be a concern."