Gimcrack runner-up Lord Of The Lodge faces four rivals in Wednesday’s Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Conditions Stakes at Newcastle.
A fast-track qualifier for All-Weather Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday, the six-furlong heat has been picked by Karl Burke as the 2020 starting point for his smart colt.
Winner of two of his five starts, Lord Of The Lodge found only Threat too good at York in August and has not run since.
“Good Friday is a bit of an afterthought really,” said Burke.
“We ran him once on soft last year and he didn’t like it, so if we waited for a Guineas trial and it was soft, it could be too late – he’s by Dandy Man and not many get the mile, although I do think he’ll get seven.
“There aren’t many options, he’s been on the go a while and I didn’t want to wait another six weeks before running. He will come on for the run, but he worked well on Friday and if he wins it opens up the Good Friday option.
“We own him ourselves at the moment, so there’s nobody else to take into consideration when making the decision.
“He was supposed to run at Newmarket after the Gimcrack, but the ground went against him. We also had a few offers for him at the time and we just sat back.
“He’s in great form, he’s wintered really well and looks a hell of a lot stronger.”
Richard Hannon’s Oh Purple Reign looks his chief danger on paper, with Mark Johnston’s Desert Safari another promising type. Amarillo Star and Romero, who last seen finishing last of five behind Siskin in the Railway Stakes, complete the field.