The flat season is finally upon us, although it won’t last long, as the stupidity of not having another turf meeting anywhere near this one continues to happen. Next Friday at Bath is the next time we will see the flat turf season again, something that baffles me more and more each season.
Anyway, enough of that, once we get the Easter weekend out of the way you can’t move for turf flat racing, so all will be good. I’m heading to Doncaster for the afternoon, which will hopefully be an enjoyable and profitable one, although the racing look extremely tough, like it always is on Lincoln day.
The opening race looks to be very competitive, with many horses in with a chance. Lancelot Du Lac looked as good as ever when carrying top weight to victory at Wolverhampton last time, winning off a mark of 107 with relative ease. He served me well that day, although with how competitive this race looks, I am happy to leave him at the prices.
The horse I keep finding myself drawn to is Ice Age, a progressive handicapper who really excelled on soft ground at the end of last season. He took his rating from 86 to 99 with a hat trick of wins, all on soft or good to soft ground. He ended the year with another good run, coming 3rd in a big handicap, and would have need the race on his return to action this year on the Lingfield AW track.
There doesn’t appear to be too much early pace in the race today, so he could get a soft lead up front on his favoured ground. Although he has a bit to find on ratings with some of these, at 9/1 he looks to be an each way play.
The Lincoln consolation race looks to be as wide open as the big one itself, with many in with chances. Two things of note from this race are worth mentioning here. Ryan Moore has only rode for Keith Dalgleish once in the last five seasons (a loser at Goodwood, July 2014), so that strikes me as a very eye catching jockey booking. Even more so when Original Choice is in the line up, a horse trained by William Haggas, who gives Moore a lot of rides, anda horse who Moore was due to ride in the Wolverhampton Lincoln trial, before the horse was withdrawn. The second thing of note is that Kynren is the first runner out of the book I’ve recent published for the flat season (50 Northern Flat Winners for 2018). I won’t mention every runner in the book, that’ll not be fair on those that have already bought, but with it being the first I thought I’d mention this.
Anyway, onto the race….
The horse I am going to put up for the race is Kynren, hopefully getting the book off to a stormer. He looks like there could be a lot more to come from him this season and although this is a hugely competitive race to begin his season with, he looks worthy of a place in the field. His trainer David Barron has his horses going well at the moment, with good strike rates over the last two weeks, and also in the last 30 days. Everything points towards a big run from Kynren and at 9/1 he is my each way pick, with a few firms going five places.
I was hoping to see Another Touch in the Lincoln today, but instead he contests this listed race. He has been disappointing in Dubai, there is no point saying otherwise, but form from the UK last season would give him a chance of winning this. He ticks a lot of the boxes for this race, he has won on soft ground in the past, has won at this level, and perhaps the most important one, he has won many times in small fields. This race could turn into a tactical battle, and his small field record reads very well if that is the case.
Zabeel Prince at the bottom could improve past all of these after working through the handicap ranks, but at the prices on offer the value has to be with Another Touch at 12/1.
The feature of the day, the Lincoln handicap looks to be very well contested once more, and a potential minefield for punters. I’ve decided to throw two darts at this race, both at decent prices.
In no particular order, the first dart thrown has landed on Ballard Down. He’s ran 10 times in his career, but only three of those have come on the turf, so I’m hoping that brings out even more improvement in him this season. We’ve not seen him since July last year, but on that day he won a nice race at Newmarket in very eye catching fashion, that race also came on soft ground. He is one of many in the race that could have more to come, and at 14/1 he is priced a lot bigger than the other unexposed horses, so he is my first dart.
The second dart has landed on Dolphin Vista, a horse who has a career high mark today, but that is because he won a nice prize at the end of last season. That victory came in the Cambridgeshire, and confirmed that he is able to run well in very big fields, something he will get here today. That win came off 96, and he has to race off 102 today, so it is going to be tough for him. However, he did run a nice race off 99 in this last year, finishing 5th beaten by just over two lengths. At 25/1 he has to be worth a small play against the field, and is my second selection in the race.
Anybody else have a starting point for this race?
Few facts of interest, but that is all I’ve got….
Langholm – trainer won this last year with one that went onto Royal Ascot, and this horse cost 100,000 euros, making it by far the most expensive in the line up.
Wasntexpectingthat – Richard Fahey has a nice record in the race, and he puts this 40,000gns purchase in the race, related to plenty of winners too.
Izzer – Mick Channon’s 2yo’s usually improve with running, but can go well first time up. He’s been in good form recently, with a lot of runners placing (8 out of his 14 runners over the last two weeks have placed) so probably comes into the seson in as good a form as he has done for a few years.
I’ve nothing else, will look at them in the paddock but doubt I’ll have a bet.
This isn’t really my sort of race, there are a couple of newcomers to look at, some with proven form from last season, and others who could improve on what they did last season, another one for me to leave alone this is.
A combination of the last two races being apprentice rider races, and me coming home before them has meant I’ve not really taken a long look at either of the final races.
In the first division, one horse jumping off the page at me is Framley Garth. Five runs ago, last summer he finished second at Hamilton with this jockey Paula Muir on board, and that was off a mark of 67. That was also on soft ground, and runs off just 60 today, so has to be of interest if he can reproduce that kind of form here.
Just like division one, I’ve not taken a long look at this race, and again one horse stood out to me. That horse is Golconda Prince, who hasn’t won yet which is a worry, but has ran some respectable races off slighlty higher marks last summer. He has placed off marks as high as 65 and runs off just 60 today, giving him a chance in what looks to be a wide open looking finale.