The Lincoln Handicap
Today we’re looking at the seasons saturday pipeopener, The Lincoln Handicap and a chance for one of our ‘12 flat horses to follow‘ to get us up and running…..
Doncaster’s Lincoln Handicap is the first feature race of the season, run over a straight mile, it’s traditionally thought of as signalling the start of the flat and is for thoroughbreds aged four and over at a race distance of 1mile.
The original race was held in Lincoln, hence the name of the race and was first run in February 1853. The race was moved to Doncaster in 1965 when the Lincoln racetrack was closed and it has been raced at the Yorkshire track ever since.
It’s usually a favourites graveyard with only four favourites being kicked home in the last thirty years.
Emell and Tinghir were among 19 withdrawals as 79 horses stood their ground for the Lincoln Handicap yesterday.
Lincoln Handicap market leaders Whispering Warrior, Gabrial’s Kaka,Captain Cat and Irish challenger Paene Magnus all remain at the five-day stage.
As expected, the top-weight Penitent is among the absentees as he is going for the Godolphin Mile in Meydan on Dubai World Cup night. That leaves the penalised Chookie Royale and Tullius at the head of the weights. For those that do not make the cut, there is the consolation Spring Mile on the same card.
George Margarson is keeping the options open forRebellious Guest, who is also entered at Kempton the same day in the Rosebery Handicap and the Magnolia Stakes. The Newmarket trainer reports the five-year-old to appear in good form after just being out of the money when seventh in the Winter Derby at Lingfield at the weekend, but he is far from a certain Lincoln starter.
Margarson said: “I’ve left him in the race only because he was very well this morning. I’m going to see how he is and decide on Wednesday and I’ve told Tom (Queally) to take another ride in the race. He’s more likely not to go than go.”
The big market mover for the Lincoln on Monday was the Roger Charlton-trained Captain Cat whose form was boosted by Robin Hoods Bay’s Winter Derby victory at the weekend. Captain Cat, who isn’t yet fully exposed and promises to be suited by a big-field handicap such as the Lincoln, is now the favourite at 10.5.
2013 winner, John Quinn’s Levitate won three races during a profitable 2013 campaign and will kick off the new season with a career-high mark of 106.
Quinn is confident his charge can be competitive in the traditional Flat-season curtain raiser, saying: “He’s been in quite a while, I think he came back just after Christmas, and he’s in good form and hopefully still improving.
“He’s rated 106, but that isn’t a major concern as looking at the entries, I’d say you’re going to have to be rated 95 to get in. It looks as though it will be a very compacted handicap.
“It’s a great old race and our horse loves Doncaster and soft ground. “I wouldn’t run him beforehand. He’ll go straight there.”
However, it’s the first opportunity for one of our 12 to follow to kick off his campaign……Jeremy Noseda’s CONSIGN….
Noseda has his fingers crossed Consign will have a favourable draw, with stalls position a major talking point, he is hoping his four-year-old gets that essential bit of luck in the valuable handicap over the straight mile.
Consign had a pipe-opener on the Polytrack at Lingfield last month and it looks all systems go for Town Moor.
Noseda said, “The aim is to go there. He needed his first run on the all-weather (this year), you need a lot of luck in the Lincoln, the draw and if we could get good ground on Lincoln day and a good draw I think he will be very competitive.”
Consign is currently set to shoulder 8st 9lb, is our selection and a good EW 25/1 shot for the Lincoln Handicap.
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