A maximum field of 22 will go to post for the Flat Season’s big ‘curtain raiser’ the William Hill Lincoln over 1 mile at Doncaster on Saturday. Following the draw it is the Roger Varian trained Eton Forever that has been handed favouritism with odds of 5/1 from the sponsors William Hill, more importantly he has also received a number of tips suggesting that he can improve from his Spring Mile victory over course and distance last year.
Varian has welcomed his draw from stall 7, believing that those drawn from the centre will have a bigger advantage. The lightly raced five year old will also enjoy the expected Good to Firm ground, however one negative is that by running off a mark of 103 he has been allocated to run with 9-9 on his back, a weight that has only been carried to victory in this race once in the last ten years.
Next best in the market at 7/1 and another horse with plenty of tips to back his claim is the William Haggas trained, Fury. This time last year Fury was being trained for a tilt at the 2000 Guineas where he eventually came fifth behind Frankel. However, despite having plenty of ability at home he never really got to grips in Stakes races so is aimed for the first time at a handicap. Haggas of course is no stranger to the winners enclosure for this race having trained three in the past, most recently Penitent in 2010 and before him came Very Wise in 2007. Fury has been given a favourable draw in stall 9 and is one of our tips to run a big race. Haggas has maximised his chances of success by giving the ride to stable apprentice Adam Beschizza who will take off 3lbs from his allocated 9-4.
Cocozza, a former classic hopeful from the John Oxx stable but now with Marco Botti has been one of the talking horse’s all week. Following a few phone line tips on Wednesday, the 4 year old, who is making his handicap debut, was backed heavily and has been cut from an original 16/1 at the beginning of the week to 9/1 with the sponsors. Botti is certainly pleased with horse’s progress since his arrival from Ireland but warned punters that he may prefer some cut in the ground which is unlikely this week. He has also been drawn towards the outside in stall 15, which does not rule him out but if the Clerk of the Course is correct then he will be away from the best ground in the centre of the course.
Top weight Edinburgh Knight an 11/1 shot from the Paul D’Arcy stable is unexposed over a mile and has been pleasing D’Arcy at home. Drawn unfavourably from stall 2, the five year old will enjoy the ground and despite the 9-10 on his back he may be in with a shout.
Having finished respectably in 6th place in the Royal Hunt Cup over a mile at Royal Ascot last year, which he followed up with a determined second place in the Coral Challenge also over a mile, the Godolphin entry Start Right looks poised to run a big race in this. He comes to the race fit having had three good runs without winning, during the Dubai Carnival and with a number of tips behind him.
Tips for each way backers have been plentiful this week, with Pintura from the David Simcock yard attracting plenty of attention. Drawn from stall 13, the gelding should improve from his second place in the Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton last month and will benefit by a return to turf racing. He ran well in the Cambridgeshire last season and was a very creditable third in the Totesport Mile at Goodwood last July. With odds available of 25/1 from the sponsors WilliamHill.com he would be the best value of our each way tips for this race.
Fury @ 7/1
Pintura @ 25/1
5/1 Eton Forever7/1 Fury9/1 Cocozza11/1 Edinburgh Knight11/1 Start Right12/1 Mull Of Killough14/1 Man OF Action14/1 Light From Mars20/1 Smarty Socks20/1 Mia’s Boy20/1 Brae Hill20/1 Don’t Call Me20/1 Stevie Thunder25/1 BAR
The Odds for the Lincoln Handicap have been supplied by the race sponsors WilliamHill.com.