Bowen hunting Plate hat-trick for Francky Du Berlais

Peter Bowen’s Francky Du Berlais will bid for a third successive victory in the Unibet Summer Plate Handicap Chase at Market Rasen on Saturday.

The 10-year-old has landed the contest for the past two years, prevailing by seven and a half lengths in 2021 and by a neck in 2022.

His successes have continued Bowen’s exceptional record in the race, a contest he has won eight times since its inception in 1995.

Francky Du Berlais became the first horse to land the valuable chase twice when triumphant last year and he returns to Lincolnshire in good form as he goes for the hat-trick.

“He’s had his prep run and everything’s gone fine, everything’s ready for him now,” Bowen said.

“He’s won it twice and whether he can do it a third time, I don’t know, but he’s in great form anyway.”

When asked if the Summer Plate is a specific target for the yard, the trainer said: “Not particularly, but it just seems to happen for us in this race. It’s about seven hours from here but he’s made it worth it.”

Francky Du Berlais will not make the journey from Pembrokeshire alone as Bowen also has Courtland in the Summer Plate.

The eight-year-old has won his past three starts, including a course-and-distance victory by five and a half lengths last time out.

“Sean (Bowen, son) rides him (Francky Du Berlais) and Gavin Sheehan will ride Courtland, he’s in good form and he’s up and coming so he could be well in.”

Success in the race would be another win to add to Sean Bowen’s impressive tally so far this season, with the trainer’s son the current favourite be crowned champion jockey at the conclusion of the term.

Bowen snr said: “He’s had a brilliant start. As long as he can stay injury-free and have a bit of luck, he should stand a good chance.”

Elsewhere in the Summer Plate is Jonjo O’Neill’s La Domaniale and Sarah Humphrey’s Gloire D’athon, with Emma Lavelle saddling two entrants in both Killer Clown and Hang In There.

Gavin Cromwell also brings a pair of runners over from Ireland in Railway Hurricane and Broken Ice, while Laura Morgan is also double handed with And The New and Tardree.

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