Former Talksport man Charlie McCann picks out 6 potential winners at Doncaster, Chepstow, Uttoxeter and Kempton, including the Lincoln.
The William Hill Lincoln, the first leg of the spring double, is today’s feature event on an excellent and informative card from Doncaster. A maximum field of 22 will charge down the straight mile and in recent years the race has been an excellent one for punters with both Expresso Star (10/3 in 2009) and Penitent (3/1 last year) landing monster gambles for leading Newmarket stables.
Expresso Star was trained by John Gosden and there is no question that Taqleed in the same yard has been the big gamble of this year’s race with the lightly-raced 4-y-o currently 4/1 with and sure to go off favourite.
Taqleed (3.10) was last seen finishing sixth of 35 in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket back in the autumn and, given he has only raced four times, is likely to improve again this season. He is drawn bang in the middle of the track in stall 11 but he likes to race prominently and he could be very-well handicapped.
Richard Fahey has a very strong hand in the race and, as well as last year’s runner up Prime Exhibit, the Yorkshire based handler is likely to saddle Castles In The Air for Channel 4’s Jim McGrath and Irish Heartbeat who has also attracted plenty of money in the build up to the event. Irish Heartbeat won the consolation Spring Mile on this card last year and will race from the far rail in stall 1 but the recommendation must be Taqleed.
Note we at will be giving money back as a free bet if your selection finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the race up to a maximum of £50 to reinvest on next weeks Champions League, US Masters or Aintree Grand National meeting.
The ground is pivotal to the chances of Bated Breath (2.35) with any further rain a negative. Held in high regard by trainer Roger Charlton, who has had some top class sprinters in his care, things didn’t pan out as expected on ground softer than ideal in his last couple of starts last season but he looked a potential star in gaining three facile wins before that and he must go very close.
The success of Nideeb (tipped up in this column) in last week’s Winter Derby at Lingfield suggested Clive Brittain has his team in top form and the filly Nabah (4.15) can keep the good run going in the 10f maiden. This race has been won by some decent sorts over the past decade including Blythe Knight who of course was just touched off in the 2008 Lincoln. Sud Pacifique was been a beaten favourite on both juvenile starts and is obviously better than he has shown on the track so far. He represents the danger.
Cresswell Crusader (2.45) didn’t quite get home over three miles at Chepstow last time and the drop back in trip returning to the Welsh track ought to suit. He gets on very well with his conditional jockey and he can break his duck over obstacles.
Willandrich (5.45 Utt) is named after the two sons of a good friend of mine and the horse has won seven of his career starts; he improved again when stepped up in trip at Leicester last time and although it wasn’t a good race he is taken to defy his 9lb rise.
There is a very competitive card at Kempton including the Roseberry Handicap which can go to Averroes (3.25) although his ability to handle the surface must be taken on trust on his AW debut. He is well drawn in stall 2 (note revised numbers on right-handed tracks came into effect from 30/3/11) and was considered good enough to run in a Longchamp Group 3 as a juvenile. He is open to further improvement and ran very well first time out last season. Round Won has not been as fortunate with the draw and the handicapper may have over-reacted by raising his 6lbs last time but he is proven on the surface and looks to still be improving.
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