Tag Archives: Paul Hanagan

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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Keep faith in Carlo

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2.35 Epsom: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 2f

A Handicap competitive in its nature, though nothing obvious sticks out. Many have to deal with high marks and are tasked with a career best. Fire Fighter could be one who is able to achieve this. He won well at Redcar with a bit in hand when last seen, and under a penalty he is likely to be a big runner.

But it might worth to give What About Carlo another chance. He was progressive last season, won here at Epsom a competitive 10f Handicap and is now only 1lb above this last winning mark.

He’s slipping down to a rating of 95 due to some poor recent efforts. This blip in form comes a bit as a surprise as he finished the Lincoln at Doncaster in eye-catching fashion, over a trip too sharp. He was outpaced but stuck gamely to the task and run out a creditable 4th place.

If What About Carlo can bounce back to form he could take all the beating today I feel given that he is one of only very few in this field who are potentially well handicapped. Conditions should suit down to the grounds.

What About Carlo @ 11/1 Stan James – 5pts Win

Unexposed Field Of Fame a big price at York

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2.10 York: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 2f

This race evolves around the two lightly raced Mahsoob and Field Of Fame. Both met at Newbury last month in a big Handicap, with John Gosden’s Mahsoob having the upper hand in the finish. Though this was not without controversies, as the Dansili son was hanging badly to his left in the closing stages, hampering Field Of Fame badly.

Mahsoob was an impressive winner that day, nonetheless. On only his second career start, he had to overcome the widest draw, used up valuable energy to make a big move on the far outside of the field in the home straight and probably hit the front too soon. Yet he showed class and determination.

Obviously there is potentially much more to come. He’s 8lb higher now which looks rather fair, but has a wide draw to overcome today yet again. That may not stop him, but he is a short 3/1 favourite in this huge field, so I rather feel I have to take him on.

Particularly with Field Of Fame posing an almost similar profile, but is double the price. Trained by Andre Balding, he gets into this race as the feather weight of a mark off 86. This will be only his third career start, after winning a maiden on debut back in 2013. He had a long break afterwards, but that didn’t hinder him to produce a big performance on his return.

He had similarly to Mahsoob a wide draw to overcome in the Newbury race. He travelled extremely well and luckily a gap opened over 2f out. He was in the process to make big progress at the final furlong marker, when the accelerating Mahsoob shifted violently and bumped into him. Field Of Dream could never recover from the impact but finished a fine 3rd nonetheless.

Only 4lb up in the mark for the effort, he is today four pounds better with the favourite and that shouldn’t stop him at all. There could be plenty more to come. He rates a huge chance here at 6/1, which is a good full two points bigger than I would have expected it.

There aren’t too many alternatives in this field. Lack of recent  run, poor form, big handicap marks… not many seem to be well treated today. That says, if the two lightly raced favourites get clear runs, I would duly expect them to fight it out.

Field Of Fame @ 6/1 Sportingbet – 5pts win