A quiet Monday at the Rasen to start the week but those who entered their horses expected good ground were disappointed with times backing up the view that morning drizzle had slowed conditions markedly.
The opener looked a two-horse race between two very different sorts in Closest Friend and Lincoln County.
The Skelton animal looked athletic, lean and fit while the latter is a bulkier horse who looks as though he will need time to mature.
That view was borne out in the race although Lincoln County's performance was as disappointing as the winner's effort was impressive.
They had been nibbling away at Closest Friend all day and They knew what they were doing. Jethro plugged away for second and is a keen going sort who will need to settle better, while Cloudy Joker looked really well but blotted his copybook.
The mares' hurdle was difficult to assess with each of the runners looking fit and well barring Haatefina and the rag.
Money came for Russian Royale and the five-year-old has certainly strengthened up since I last saw her last winter. She did not look well-handicapped but O'Toole again looked handy for his 10-bob.
I wouldn't have put anyone off backing Miss Sassypants and she ran her race. She has enough about her to jump a fence.
Oh Land Abloom looked a progressive sort prior to the third race and ran out an impressive winner.
I thought he was on the small side before a Doncaster bumper last winter but he's grown markedly since then, and although he looked well I thought they'd left quite a bit to work with condition-wise which put me off a bet.
Looking at the race again it's possible that jockey T Whelan (riding at the top of his game presently) gave the horse a breather at the end of the back straight when allowing the leader plenty of rope. But the way he picked up in the straight was striking.
The yard did well with a very similar type in Milansbar last term and there is every chance this horse will be campaigned in similar fashion. As previously mentioned I'm sure there is more to come.
Wily Fox ran a big race after being well supported but was a sitting duck for the favourite. The dual course winner did little wrong though and can surely win again over slightly shorter.
Three down and there hadn't been any business but that changed in the next when Ready Token bounded into the paddock looking in tremendous heart.
Bred to be a soft ground staying chaser and nothing more, the Longsdon horse had been threatening something better than his mark suggested for a while and surely this was the day to catch him right.
Thankfully a market drift made him a backable price in a race that few others could be fancied. Bouggietopieces goes like a real top of the ground horse and did well to get as close as he did after some indifferent leaps.
The winner came home unchallenged but I wouldn't rate the form much. His jumping lacked any zest and he was ponderous on numerous occasions. He looks a dour stayer but I'd be looking to oppose him in anything more competitive than this.
Jimmy Shan shaped once more like a horse with a problem, while Lock Towers took a big step backwards and may be best served over timber for now.
The second handicap chase of the day was a ghastly affair that deserves little of our time.
Butlergrove King was a well-backed favourite on the basis of not very much and although he looked fit and well and quite an athletic sort I was never going to back him at less than 2/1.
You couldn't fancy anything in the race - especially not the winner Chankillo, who took his career record to a sensational 2/42 with this first victory over jumps.
The bumper saw a big chasing type in Alf N Dor head the market but he was very green in front and passed in the straight by Mahlerdramatic, who stepped up on his disappointing Southwell effort.
Once again he looked quite lean and leggy although in good heart, but this form may not be up to much. Canton Prince is quite likeable and is the sort to pay his way in time, but the rest were pretty backward..