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2.25 – Doncaster:
Examiner. 1 pt e/w. Available at 12/1. (Paddy Power, 1/5 odds first 5)
Swift Emperor. 0.75 pts e/w. Available at 20/1. (Skybet, 1/5 odds first 6)
Sacred Act, Nimr and Ballet Concerto are the lightly raced progressive horses in the race but there are reasons to take them on. Sacred Act could be well weighted but the handicap he won at Sandown when last seen in September hasn’t produced a winner from 20 subsequent entries so the form may be a touch over-rated. That was his first run for 14 months, and his first since a gelding operation, so it could be argued that he did well to win at all. Of the top three in the market he is preferred. Nimr has done his improving on the A/W and Ballet Concerto has his first run since last September, after being gelded in the interim. It’s possible he will improve for this run. At bigger prices preference is for Examiner and Swift Emperor. Examiner has been performing creditably on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton, despite the pace of the races being against him. He is seen to much better effect in large field on a straight track where he is normally always likely to get the end to end gallop he needs. He sports a first time tongue tie for a trainer who has a good record when fitting the aid initially to his horses. He is back down to his last winning mark and his best efforts last season came under today’s jockey. Swift Emperor is in much deeper than when winning on the Tapeta over a mile at Newcastle last time out but he wasn’t beaten far in the Zetland Gold Cup over ten furlongs at Redcar last May and he is just two pounds higher in the weights here. He could be suited by a well run race over a straight mile and he has the potential for further progression this season.
2.40 – Kempton – Justice Good. 2 pts win. Available at 13/2.
This race doesn’t look overly blesses with early pace and it may not pay to try and come from too far back in the pack. Dutch Golden Age did us a favour last time out, and he could get an easy lead, but preference on this occasion is for Justice Good. He has produced his best three efforts on his last three starts, all on the A/W at Lingfield, Newcastle and here. Only one of those came in handicap company, and that was here from a six pound lower mark. Open to further improvement on the artificial surfaces, he could be up to defying the rise if he is ridden positively. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, that hasn’t always been the case. Hopefully connections will have looked at the race and decide that the best place to be is on the pace. From a decent draw in stall five, a prominent early pitch should see him get very competitive and give him every chance of taking his track record to 2 from 2.
3.35 – Doncaster:
Master Carpenter. 0.75 pts e/w. Available at 22/1. (Paddy Power, 1/5 odds first 5)
Instant Attraction. 0.75 pts e/w. Available at 22/1. (William Hill, 1/5 odds first 5)
As the years progress the Lincoln is becoming a more compressed handicap for older established handicappers. The progressive, younger horses invariably end up in the Spring Mile and the stats for this race could well find themselves changing in future years. Yuften has past Group One form and, along with Top Notch Tonto, he could be a horse well ahead of his current mark. It not’s surprising that he heads the market and his rival has been well supported. However at bigger prices chances are given to Master Carpenter and Instant Attraction. Master Carpenter had some decent form to his name at the beginning of last season in Group Three comapny and, although he ended the campaign on a lower note, he resumes this season on a mark five pounds lower than when winning his only handicap at York back in July 2015. That came over an extended 10 furlongs but an ability to stay further is never a bad thing in a race of this nature. He is partnered by a good five pound claimer and he will have no issues if the ground dries out or gets slightly slower. Instant Attraction wasn’t beaten far from this mark in both the Investec Mile at Epsom and the Hunt Cup at Ascot last season, He was also close up in the Spring Mile from four pound lower here and in the Thirsk Hunt cup from two pounds lower in the same campaign and goes well fresh. A large field, strong pace over a mile are the parameters that bring out the best in him and he is likely to run his race more than some.
3.15 – Kempton – Noble Gift. 0.75 pts e/w. Available at 18/1.
5.50 – Doncaster – Deeley’s Double. 1 pt e/w. Available at 12/1.
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We already sent a bet last night for today’s Lincoln and that will be the only selection of the day. We do have a few other bits through that look capable of going well but just the one bet on a difficult looking day.
Mackenzie Friend (Uttoxeter 3.05) – Not been in the best of form but seems to be coming to hand now and hopefully can go well today. He could do with a bit more rain as he really likes to get his toe in, so if it comes he could be a good e/w option.
Star Foot (Stratford 3.55) – We have had quite a few little issues with him and he has been tough to get right but he is as well as we have had him now and ran a nice race a couple of weeks ago. Seems to have come out of that well and should have a good chance of getting involved again.
Endless Acres (Kempton 5.00) – He is a nice type and has been runiing some nice races. Only a matter of time before he gets off the mark and with the step up in trip sure to suit, today could deinitely be the day.
Dolphin Vista (Lincoln Handicap – Doncaster 3.35) – He is in cracking order and this has been his sole aim. It looks like the ground has come right for him and the draw is fine. Obviously it is a hugely competitive race but we couldn’t be happier with him and granted some look in running he should run a bg race.
Dolphin Vista (Lincoln Handicap – Doncaster 3.35) – 1 point e/w – 16/1 available (14/1 Skybet, 6 places)
The Inside Rail
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The consolation races looks more competitive than the main event here, with more unexposed runners. The problem is it is still hard to get away from the favourite here. Sacred Act could be well above this level from what we have seen in its limited number of runs. It is hard enough to come from behind at Sandown so to do so the way it did when not getting the clearest of runs either suggests it is a well handicapped horse, especially when the handicapper can’t do much due to its short distance win. Fresh may be the best time to catch it, especially with its injury problems and it has shown it handles a bit of ease in the ground. Granted the run again it could be hard to beat.
1.5pt win Sacred Act @ 5/1 widely available
Unlike the consolation race I am more pursueded by a couple of outsiders in the hope that they can produce a return to form. The first your probably going to think I am crackers with Dream Walker as the outsider of the field. Has shown its best conditions are a mile on softish ground and a big field with plenty of cover. This is a strange horse who can come from last to first in the space of a couple of furlongs, therefore it does need the race to fall apart. However, it has the right conditions and the pace should be good here with several horses keen on their first runs of the year. Not going to get carried away but has to be worth an e/w bet.
The other horse is Master Carpenter for Rod Millman and ridden by the capable Lulu Stanford. Highly tried last year it ran some good races but wasn’t good enough to get its head in front. Mark has finally slipped though and is now 5lb below its last win which was a 17 runner handicap at York. Potential the absence could have done it good and if able to produce its best form then has a great chance.
0.5pt e/w Dream Walker @ 40/1 Skybet 1/5th odds 6 places
0.75pt e/w Master Carpenter @ 20/1 Skybet 1/5th odds 6 places
Really strong on the chances of Prince Of Arran for this race. Easily the class act, it is three from four on the a/w, its defeat was last time when unlucky in a listed race against considerably higher rate horses. Seems to go well fresh and looks a much better horse now gelded. A fair draw and a good record fresh also increases the confidence in this. Is susceptible to something lower down the weights but I do feel this could still have more to come if getting the breaks.
1pt e/w Prince Of Arran @ 8/1 Bet365, Ladbrokes and Coral
5:25 Uttoxeter – Optimistic Bias – Useful hurdler who is competing off a lower mark in fences. Is taking a drop in class and trip which look sure to suit and the yard has been in cracking form over the last couple of weeks. The fact they have booked an experienced jockey for the race is another good positive.
1pt win Optimistic Bias @ 13/2 Coral and Betfair