Tag Archives: Lincoln

Sunday Selections: March, 25th 2018

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4.45 Doncaster: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

Despite being an eight year old, judged on last seasons form, Indian Chief looks one who could still run a bit better than his current mark suggests. a handicap rating of 84, based on RPR’s and TS, as well as visuals from the back end of last year, seem a good indicator that he’s a really interesting runner in this race.

I wouldn’t read too much into his poor comeback run. It was a pipe opener. However, his last good handful of runs in 2017 are predominantly fine form. I felt he was minded when last seen as he had too much too from the back in a tough class 3 Handicap at Nottingham at the end of October.

A week earlier same place Indian Chief was tanking a long but incredibly unlucky, not getting a run whatsoever. He’s on the same mark today, and a return to that sort of form will see him go very close.

Trip and ground hold absolutely no fear to him – in fact it enhances his chances.

Selection:
10pts win – Indian Chief @ 12/1 Matchbook

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4.50 Naas: Irish Lincoln Handicap, 1 mile

A massive field of twenty runners go to post in the traditional pipe opener of the Irish flat season. Heavy ground is awaiting them – it should be a slog.

Plenty of right boxes ticks Richard Fahey’s runner Third Time Lucky. He’s proved in the past that cut in the ground isn’t an issue, though, he hasn’t encountered this deep a ground since his maiden win.

However, Third Time Lucky is an experienced big-field handicapper and tends to run well in these type of races – as evidence his 2015 Cambridgeshire success which came off the same he’s racing of today.

He hasn’t won since February last year, which came on the All-Weather, off a 2lb higher mark, but subsequently raced in tough handicaps off big weights. He’s in good nick, however, as he shown most recently at Wolverhampton when finishing strongly in a hot class 2 contest.

I feel this trip with the slow ground and likely good pace could play right into his hands. He will need to get a bit of in-running luck given his hold-up style and a less than ideal draw. But with no obvious choices in this race, he looks one who has a better chance than his price tag suggests, in my mind.

Selection:
10pts win – Third Time Lucky @ 9/1 VC

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Saturday Selections: The Flat is Back!

Newmarket Rowley Mile tight finish

Ended Cheltenham week last week with a bang: Emigrated ran out a readily winner at 16/1 at Wolverhampton! That was on the All-Weather, the surface so familiar to readers of this blog…. BUT I have to tell you: the flat is back! Well and truly – the holy turf, the smell of flush green grass in the air – it’s Lincoln Day!

Let’s not get carried away, though. It’s an incredibly difficult day betting wise at Doncaster. Huge- and ultra-competitive fields, soft ground and often little recent form in the book of those fancied in the market.

It also will take still some time until the flat moves into full swing. Hence the brown colour of Fibresand, Tapeta and Poly will continue to dominate for another while…. at least this blog. For a change, not today, though.

…….

2.25 Doncaster: Class 2 Handicap, 1 mile

Those at the head of the market should dominate naturally… yet in a big field that isn’t always the case eventually. However, the Spring Mile this year seems to have a bias toward favouring the high drawn numbers, as this is where most of the pace lies.

That means, bar the jolly Taqdeer, the likes of What’s The Story, Original Choice and Kynren should be thereabouts. However, I quite fancy a little flutter on long-shot Apex King.

There is little in his form to suggest that he will go close. His comeback at Chelmsford was dire. He’re hoping he simply needed that run. Last season was a massive disappointment, on the other hand. Apex King looked so promising during his juvenile campaign.

Nonetheless, he remains lightly raced. Only eight starts to date, he ran only three times last year, and he was a late April foal, so maybe he simply outran expectations as a two year old and needed last season to catch-up.

Another holiday under his belt, now fitted with blinkers for the first time – something that can have a significantly positive impact on sons of Kodiac – he remains of interest. Particularly on ground that can suit. He won on good to soft already, and his full-sister Miss Ellany managed the same.

Likely to be race fit, trip and ground potentially a good combination, with the potential improvement for blinkers fitted and a near perfect draw, gives Apex King at least a real chance to outrun his massive price tag.

Selection:
10pts win – Apex King @ 33/1 VC

……..

3.35 Doncaster: Class 2 Lincoln Handicap, 1 mile

The race that gives the traditional start of the flat season its name – as ever an incredibly tricky puzzle to solve. I don’t dare to say I have the answer to it. However, I dare to say to have a value bet. Rather unoriginal, yet with proven track record: Gabrial.

The now nine-year old won this very race in 2015 and twelve months ago was only one lengths beaten in fourth off 4lb higher than today. His only other start at Doncaster, also over a mile, was a Listed success over a mile. Fair to say Gabrial loves it to thunder down the Doncaster straight.

He tried his luck on the All-Weather over the winter. He ran well enough in a couple of races, though his form tailed off a little bit when last seen. I wouldn’t worry too much – he proved to be nearly as good as ever when placed twice behind Arcanada at Lingfield.

Two win off 104 as a nine-year old, despite his proven record and potentially fair mark, judged on last year’s run, is still a big ask. Nonetheless, with conditions sure to suit, as soft ground does not hold any fears for Gabrial, he should run his race. Whether that is enough to win remains to be seen. At the given price he’s certainly one I’m rather siding with than not.

Selection:
10pts win: Gabrial @ 31/1 Matchbook

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

Halation can defy career highest mark

No surprise to see this Handicap as competitive as it is with more than half of the field in with a legitimate win chance. Right at the head of the market is the recently so impressive Lingfield winner Mindyourownbusiness. A progressive colt, he improved nicely from run to run and got his game very much together the last time to win with a bit of authority. He had quite the run of the race, though, and up 7lb in the handicap mark, more is needed. Though, given his profile, he could easily be up to it.

Melvin The Grate finished a gallant fourth that day, following on from some excellent performances. He tracked the eventual winner all the way but couldn’t cope with the acceleration of Mindyourownbusiness. Not impossible that he can improve again, but he will have to as it looks to me as if he may be in the grip of the handicapper now. He certainly will need a quick pace and probably a bit of in-running luck if connections decide to revert to the successful hold-up tactics.

Always consistently competitive is Marco Botti’s Solar Deity. In his last five starts he has never been beaten by more than three lengths and finished was in the money in the majority of those races. That is reflected in his handicap mark, which stand stiff at 105. For that reason he has to carry a very big weight today as the highest rated horse in the field and may find one or two too good once again. Godolphin’s Billingsgate had a quick trip to Dubai, but finished last in a competitive Handicap there. Shipped back to the UK, he must rate a good chance here, based on last seasons form, though the travel stress is a slight worry.

David Simcock’s Halation is an interesting runner. This Azamour gelding is clearly progressive, and had excuses when he finished down the field behind Mindyourownbusiness at Lingfield on his seasonal reappearance. The handicapper gave him a big chance subsequently and he obliged duly. He was in the right position that day, but also travelled beautifully and looked like a horse with much more to come. Consequently raised in the mark, he will need to improve, but the trip should suit well as on pedigree he is supposed to get further as well as get better with time. A fine 7lb claimer cancels effectively out the 6lb rise of the the handicap mark and therefore I would expect Halation to be very competitive today – if he is able to overcome his wide draw – which has to be a slight concern.

Veteran Santefisio hasn’t been seen to best effect in recent starts, however he is on a very long losing run and simply need more help from the handicapper. Jack Of Diamonds ran with loads of credit in his last starts. Expect him to be competitive today. He has a bit to find with the more fancied rivals, though. Don’t Call Me looks as good as ever, but that says looked unlikely to be able to win off a mark as high as the current one in this grade. Pearl Nation is better suited to Southwell, though has Wolverhampton form. He did well lately, however it’s much more required here today.

On balance, I feel Halation is the dark horse to an extend and is overpriced. He is on a mark that gives him a chance to win if natural improvement would kick in for this lightly raced gelding. He showed nice form recently, has a good 7lb claimer on board and should like the trip.

2.50 Wolverhampton:Lincoln Trial Handicap (C2)
Halation @ 6/1 PP – 5pts win