Tag Archives: flat season

Preview: Lincoln Handicap

Leicester Racecourse home straight

One week after the Irish flat season kicked off with a bang, it’s now time for the neighbours across the pond to open the gates to their traditional Lincoln meeting held at Doncaster. So let’s have a look at the main event of the day:

Classy Yuften greets from the top of the betting market. A relatively short priced favourite at around 10/3 with most firms. A case can be made easily why he is well fancied.

Yuften made a fine return to the race track last month in a Listed event at Wolverhampton finishing a narrowly beaten third. He clearly is in good nick and looks ripped to follow on from where left off in 2016 when he landed the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on British Champions Day.

An only four pounds higher handicap mark today with conditions sure to suit – he’s a huge chance. BUT this is the Lincoln! A race that cause often upsets. In fact 7 of the last 10 winners started at double figure odds!

That must bring second favourite Donncha into play. A 10/1 chance at the moment – that illustrates fittingly how open this race is, if the second! favourite is a double figure price. The six year old horse is an ultra-consistent sort and was an excellent runner-up in the Spring Mile last year. Jamie Spencer in the saddle indicates another big run is on the cards.

The improving On This Is Us for the Richard Hannon team with Ryan Moore taking the ride is back in the UK after a stint at Meydan over the winter months where he performed not too badly. He can go well.

However the two Fahey runners are the ones that do intrigue me most personally:

There is Third Time Lucky  – one who looks sure to relish this test. He performs well in big-field handicaps and won’t mind whatever juice is left in the ground. He’s also race fit and in form, as recent results on the All-Weather prove.

Due to a recent win he has to carry a penalty but this is pretty much cancelled out due to the 7lb claimer in the saddle. Young Connor Murtagh looks quite useful, indeed. I do really like his calm riding style which should be of benefit  in the Lincoln.

The younger and less exposed Dolphin Vista receives the assistance of Paul Hanagan and runs of near bottom weight. There might still be a bit improvement left in this son of Zoffany and I’m sure he’s ready to run a big race after on his seasonal reappearance.

He stays further and has a career highest mark to overcome but this is only his ninth handicap start, now as a four year old, if he can return to the form of his penultimate run when a winner of a 10f handicap at Beverly, he’s a big chance I firmly belief, given he’ll most likely will be ridden positively close to the leas so he can make his stamina count.

From the bigger prices I think you can make a good case for You’re Fired (40/1) to be competitive. He often runs well in these type of races and has fitness on his side.

Selection:
5pts win – Third Time Lucky @ 16/1 Unibet
5pts win – Dolphin Vista @ 14/1 Bet365

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The Flat is Back!

Here it is, the first flat meeting of the 2017 Irish flat season! Sun is shining – what a surprise! Ground at Naas after a week of rain is still soft to heavy as the racecourse tweeted this morning. It should be a fantastic day and I’ll be driving down to the county Kildare venue later on.

My main bet of the day is in the Irish Lincoln: Aussie Valentine at 8/1 e/w, already played this a while ago and feeling confident he’s hard to keep out of the money at least. Runner-up the last two seasons when the eventual winners were seemingly very well handicapped, he gets in off a very handy mark this time, 5lb lower than last year and loves the ground.

The first two maidens are quite difficult to solve, I let them run without the burden of my money on their shoulders in the first, but think Invincible Ryker (4/1) is sets a fair standard in the second one through his form from last season behind a subsequent Group placed horse. He also handles soft ground and can improve this year.

The sprint handicap might go to one of those lightly raced sorts at the top of the market. With price in mind I fancy a nibble on Dalgleish’s raider Dark Defender who at least likes the ground and has a favourable draw off an okay mark. at 16’s it seems worth a try.

The Madrid Handicap is intriguing: smart 2yo form meets race fitness. I stick with potential class and do like despite top weight Bolger’s Vociferous Marina (4/1) allot. At second time asking she got off the mark in a competitive Curragh maiden in softish conditions last year and did that in brilliant style. There’s Oaks talks so she’s clearly thought to be a smart girl.

Ger Lyons’s Hansian Prince looks worth a small saver at 14’s.He won a Limerick maiden over 7f in desperate conditions last season and produced a stunning turn of foot. A mark off 82 seems reasonable to play with.

Somehow looks hard to beat in the G3 Park Express but Aiden’s rarely fit this time in year and his Dubai runners were a big disappointment I prefer the look of Weld’s 3yo Queen Anne’s Lace (7/1). Not easy against older horses to run this early in the year but she is better than hare bare form suggests, she travels strongly and will relish the ground.

Good luck everybody and enjoy the racing!