Friday 29 March 2013

The William Hill Lincoln Saturday 30th March 3:05 Doncaster

I would like to thank Paul of PGR Sports for writing this post, especially after he wrote the earlier preview, which was abandoned due to bad weather. 

It may have been delayed a week but tomorrow at 3:05 we finally get to marvel at the sight of 22 runners charging down the Doncaster straight in the 2013 William Hill Lincoln Handicap. The going like last week remains soft meaning this year’s renewal will be a testing examination of each contenders credentials, there are a few changes in the entries from last week’s original line up with the draw also taking place again yesterday so with that in mind let’s take a look through the runners & riders making up the field for the £62,250 first prize.

Firstly the draw: This week the draw may not be as big a factor as it would have been last week with racing taking place on the Friday before. There are 3 races before post time meaning the ground nearest the rails could be slightly worse than in the middle so horses drawn in the extreme wide stalls maybe at a slight disadvantage however looking at the draw there is also an even split of the more fancied runners for instance current favourite for the race Captain Bertie is drawn low in 7 with John Gosdens fancied runner Lahaag drawn alongside in stall 6 meanwhile Eshtibaak is drawn high in stall 20 with the race fit & in form Strictly Silver higher still in 22. More importantly for me though is the state of the ground & which horse are proven to act on it. Let’s take a look at the horses that have some form with decent cut in the ground which brings the following horses into contention: Chapter Seven, Memory Cloth, Global Village, Justonefortheroad, Swiftly Done, Jacks Revenge, Chosen Character, Capaill Liath as well as 2 horses we mentioned earlier Lahaag & Captain Bertie. I believe it’s this group of hoses we should focus on. Memory Cloth is a dangerous prospect on this ground in fact if the conditions were to worsen then this one’s price should fall considerably, he’s been running in some valuable handicaps at York, Goodwood & Ascot on good & good to firm ground without troubling the frame however his last win came on heavy ground over 7f at Newcastle in June last year beating reigning Lincoln champ Brae hill so do not write off this one’s chances on this ground, currently available at 25/1. Justonefortheroad is another that will relish the underfoot conditions & has shown in the past that racing in the spring after a lengthy break is no problem at all Richard Fahey will have this one ready to race & last time out in Oct beat an improving type who was well fancied to win this when the race was originally due to run last week, currently available at 16/1. Swiftly Done flopped last time out in the Cambridgeshire however that was on good ground over 9f I like the form of this one when there’s cut in the ground , wins last june both over C&D here & at Newcastle were followed by a good display at Glorious Goodwood in the Betfred Mile again on good ground beaten only 3 ¾ lengths. This is another that runs fresh & should not be crossed out at a big price, currently available at 25/1. Jacks Revenge & Chosen Character are 2 horses drawn in the middle & will both appreciate the testing conditions, I see both of these as improving types, Jacks revenge goes well fresh & Chosen Character will try to run up with the pace, both can currently be backed at 25/1.

Lahaag: This was the horse last week chosen to represent last season’s formidable big race duo of John Gosden & William Buick however with Buick opting for the heat of Meydan over the snow of Doncaster Robert Havlin takes the ride. The lightly raced 4 y-o has won 2 of his 4 starts with those wins coming on ground that was good to firm & good to soft, however last time out he was beaten just a head over 9f on soft ground at York by Chapter seven in a 3 y-o class 2 handicap he meets that rival again here on similar terms with both horses similarly improving types. Lahaag is unexposed & with the ground not an issue & having had only 4 races in a fledgling career this a definite lively contender & is available at 8/1.

Global Village: Trained by Brian Ellison recent history is against this horse winning the race with just a solitary 8-y-o winner in the past 32 years, however his two most recent wins were picked up in soft ground handicaps last year most notably in the Victoria Cup at Ascot however he has gone up 6lbs in the weights since that race. A plus for punters looking to side with the experienced older horses is that the horse comes into this race having had a run just 3 weeks ago over 9f at Southwell finishing just 4&¾ lengths behind Strictly Silver a horse well fancied by his trainer to take this race with any sort of decent ground however Rob Havlins mount today has a useful pull in the weights from that race at Southwell. Global Village is available at 14/1.

Of the others we have not mentioned there are a couple that are plenty short enough in the betting so why have we not given them a second glance? Majestic Myles, Dance & Dance, Arsaadi & Prince of Johanne are all plenty high enough in the weights however Marco Botti has an exciting prospect in the shape of Solar Deity who was the winner of a listed race on the Wolverhampton all weather over 7f last time out however like many in this field there’s a big enough doubt over him going on the ground.

So taking all the above into account it’s time to pick a winner, well I will leave that to you. My advice would be back a couple each way at a double figure price as favourites have a dreadful record in the race & with 22 runners on testing ground anything really could happen. I like Jacks revenge & Swiftly Done each way at 25/1.