Betway Lincoln
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Heritage Handicap
Doncaster
£100,000 added, 4yo plus,
1m, Class 2   
Saturday 1st April 2017

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Matt Brocklebank of the Sporting Life looks ahead to the start of the British Flat season with two Antepost Angle selections.

Recommended bets:

1pt e.w. Steel Train at 33/1

1pt e.w. Eddystone Rock at 25/1

It’s eight years since the Lincoln winner didn’t have any previous experience of racing at Doncaster and with the top of the market dominated by unexposed, Newmarket-based runners like Morando and Sacred Act, now looks a good time to get one of the locals on side.

It’s impossible to know how the conditions will pan out over the next couple of weeks but the forecast is set pretty fair over the weekend and into early next week, while Town Moor is a track renowned for how well it drains.

Steel Train
© Grossick Photography
Steel Train

If it happens to come up genuine good ground, which it is has done for four of the last eight renewals, then the general 33/1 about Steel Train has the potential to look really good business.

He’s one of two possible runners for trainer David O’Meara, who saddled Mondialiste to be second to Gabrial in 2015 and was also responsible for last year’s big gamble of the race, Lord Of The Land, who failed to figure in the finish but returned 6/1 in this event on his first outing for the yard and went on to record an all-weather hat-trick at the end of the season.

It's obviously a race O’Meara is very keen to win and the shortest of his pair this time around is Bravery, bought in the autumn at a tenth of his price tag when a yearling, but still a not-inconsiderable purchase at 44,000 guineas.

A Dundalk maiden winner for Aidan O’Brien this time last year, he didn’t make the grade thereafter but wasn’t beaten far in a Listed race at the Curragh in October, albeit over a mile and a half.

He’s short enough in the market for what he’s achieved on the track over the Lincoln trip and stablemate Steel Train looks well capable of improving past him.

The latter is not only experienced over the straight course here, but also ticks the other significant recent trend of having had at least one run during the calendar year.

Unexposed four-year-olds making their first appearance of the season used to be the obvious starting point when assessing the Lincoln, but the race has seemingly become even more competitive and Sweet Lightning (2011), Ocean Tempest (2014) and Secret Brief (2017) all came into it with race-fitness on their side.

All three of those winners had been out in Meydan at the Dubai Carnival and while the relative climate at Newcastle and Wolverhampton may not have been quite so beneficial, Steel Train has still run a bit better than his finishing positions may suggest lately.

His 10th of 13, beaten under four lengths by Suzi’s Connoisseur when denied a clear run in a race not run to suit, wasn’t far from a career best last month and returning to turf – on which his record reads 25 runs, four wins, five seconds and two thirds – should suit him ideally.

He’s a full 12lb higher than when bolting up over seven furlongs at Doncaster in November but his subsequent win off a mark of 95 on Newcastle’s Tapeta surface left the impression he could remain seriously competitive from his revised rating during the Flat season proper, and O’Meara has probably had this race in mind since that course success.

Richard Fahey is also likely to fire at least a couple of bullets at the valuable contest having won it twice in the past five years, but the strength of his hand may not be quite as deep as he’d like with Nimr far from guaranteed a place in the field.

A 5lb penalty for winning a couple of races at Wolverhampton since the turn of the year doesn’t quite look like being enough to prevent him missing the cut, though Musley Bank could be represented by former winner Gabrial, Third Time Lucky and Another Touch if the latter gets in.

He’s been out in Meydan and while balloted out of his intended targets over there, a bit of winter sun of his back can’t have done any harm.

From the other end of the country, Eddystone Rock has had a very different period of early-season conditioning, racing a couple of times in the freezing cold of St Moritz, without success. He failed to shine in icy Switzerland but has one or two pieces of form that suggest he could be over priced as a 25/1 shot.

Unlike Steel Train, he stays further than the bare mile, while he wouldn’t mind if there was rain around having won so easily on soft at Tipperary in August, that coming on the back of a one-length second to subsequent dual winner Ringside Humour in a 12-runner contest at the Curragh.

Tipperary turned out to be his final outing for Johnny Murtagh, who was all for aiming the five-year-old at the Cambridgeshire before having to rule him out following an unsatisfactory scope in the run-up to Newmarket.

Eddystone Rock was narrowly beaten into third on his debut for new trainer John Best over 10 furlongs at Lingfield before heading out to St Moritz, but he was forced to make the early running there and most of his really progressive form in Ireland came when able to chase a strong pace.

Dropping back to a straight mile could prove absolutely ideal for this son of Rock Of Gibraltar, who remains open to improvement after just 10 starts on turf and worthy of each-way support.

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Betway Lincoln (Heritage Handicap)
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m, Class 2
108 entries
Going: N/A

Form Horse Age Weight Trainer
71-8365 Al Khan (IRE) 46 8 8-7 K A Ryan
7310-31 Amazement (GER) 37 (ex5) 4 8-1 J Tate
43/21-62 Amber Mystique 28 4 7-3 R A Fahey
971582- Another Touch 175 4 8-11 R A Fahey
2520/05- Ascription (IRE) 187 8 9-0 K Dalgleish
95310-6 Bahama Moon (IRE) 17 5 8-3 T D Barron
2/52112- Ballet Concerto 210 4 8-12 Sir Michael Stoute
0/5621-1 Banditry (IRE) 32 (ex5) 5 8-1 Ian Williams
835250- Battle Of Marathon (USA) 266 5 9-10 J Ryan
46-9699 Beach Bar (IRE) 37 6 8-7 B G Powell
120212- Blair House (IRE) 161 4 8-12 C Appleby
644843 Boots And Spurs 23 8 7-8 S Dixon
420540- Bravery (IRE) 167 4 9-1 D O'Meara
14026-5 Briardale (IRE) 81 5 7-13 J D Bethell
716224- Brigliadoro (IRE) 149 6 8-5 P J McBride
154822- Briyouni (FR) 147 4 8-2 K A Ryan
1842-27 Bunbury 28 5 8-5 R Hughes
755337- Candelisa (IRE) 206 4 8-9 Jedd O'Keeffe
90-5564 Captain Cat (IRE) 24 8 8-12 A W Carroll
0132-11 Carolinae 32 (ex5) 5 8-2 C Fellowes
4/16047- Carrington (FR) 247 4 8-5 C Appleby
1/21- Chelsea Lad (IRE) 315 4 8-11 M Meade
4322-22 Constantino (IRE) 35 4 8-3 R A Fahey
114224- Cote d'Azur 175 4 8-10 J L Eyre
6200-12 Count Montecristo (FR) 37 (ex5) 5 7-9 K A Ryan
236-588 Dark Emerald (IRE) 37 7 9-7 B G Powell
114200- Dark Red (IRE) 189 5 8-11 E A L Dunlop
218615- Dolphin Vista (IRE) 175 4 9-0 R A Fahey
023894- Donncha (IRE) 154 6 9-1 R Eddery
31530-8 Dream Walker (FR) 21 8 9-2 B Ellison
265-104 Dutch Art Dealer 30 6 8-1 I Furtado
121-347 Eddystone Rock (IRE) 41 5 9-1 J R Best
6-59280 Elleval (IRE) 28 7 9-1 D Marnane
43587-9 Emell 21 7 9-1 R Hannon
10035-4 Examiner (IRE) 21 6 8-8 S C Williams
874-166 Fanciful Angel (IRE) 44 5 9-7 M Botti
214330- Father Bertie 131 5 8-7 T D Easterby
886039- Finn Class (IRE) 159 6 8-0 M Dods
6/3211-8 Fort Jefferson 81 4 7-6 A M Balding
380423- Fuwairt (IRE) 101 5 8-6 Roger Fell
479-910 Gabrial (IRE) 35 8 9-9 R A Fahey
221806- Gabrial's Kaka (IRE) 224 7 8-9 R A Fahey
2129-61 George Cinq 17 (ex5) 7 9-1 George Scott
514180- Ginger Jack 169 10 8-4 G Moss
10206-5 God Willing 23 6 8-7 D Carroll
989-151 Gossiping 63 5 7-8 G L Moore
02105-4 Haaf A Sixpence 35 8 8-3 R M Beckett
232-405 Hail Clodius (IRE) 23 5 8-0 Roger Fell
220000- Heaven's Guest (IRE) 182 7 9-1 R A Fahey
357165- Highland Colori (IRE) 159 9 9-0 A M Balding
11-1423 Holiday Magic (IRE) 21 6 8-9 M W Easterby
136523- Home Cummins (IRE) 156 5 8-9 R A Fahey
251000- Ice Lord (IRE) 174 5 8-3 C G Cox
7-43234 Ice Royal (IRE) 19 4 8-3 J A Osborne
985340- Imshivalla (IRE) 147 6 8-4 R A Fahey
382270- Instant Attraction (IRE) 216 6 9-0 Jedd O'Keeffe
471541- Jaqen H'ghar (IRE) 120 4 8-12 Joseph P O'Brien
0414-12 Keystroke 21 5 9-4 J Noseda
902070- Lat Hawill (IRE) 189 6 8-10 K Dalgleish
109025- Little Lady Katie (IRE) 151 5 8-1 K R Burke
363530- London Protocol (FR) 147 4 8-9 K R Burke
210/100- Lord Of The Rock (IRE) 282 5 8-8 M Dods
255359- Lucy The Painter (IRE) 190 5 9-1 E De Giles
663546- Master Carpenter (IRE) 185 6 9-0 B R Millman
919970- Medburn Dream 162 4 7-12 P Henderson
999480- Miss Van Gogh 126 5 7-13 R A Fahey
2263-43 Mister Music 45 8 7-8 A W Carroll
215610- Moonlightnavigator (USA) 147 5 8-3 J J Quinn
41117- Morando (FR) 168 4 9-5 R Varian
001254- Mount Tahan (IRE) 147 5 8-6 K A Ryan
144612- Mountain Rescue (IRE) 165 5 8-4 C F Wall
10/000-5 Mutarakez (IRE) 28 5 8-8 B J Meehan
251-611 Nimr 21 (ex10) 4 8-5 R A Fahey
8831-35 Oh This Is Us (IRE) 37 4 9-6 R Hannon
1/00144- Pensax Boy 248 5 7-9 Ian Williams
602-188 Pickett's Charge 31 4 7-0 R C Guest
229382- Planetaria (IRE) 148 4 7-9 G Moss
2-88436 Plucky Dip 17 6 7-9 J Ryan
275-478 Polar Forest 63 7 6-13 R C Guest
023140- Pumaflor (IRE) 148 5 7-10 R M Whitaker
122-921 Qaffaal (USA) 19 (ex5) 6 8-2 M W Easterby
50788-4 Quixote (GER) 74 7 8-5 David Loughnane
512117- Raising Sand 157 5 8-9 J A Osborne
32/18- Reckless Gold (IRE) 242 4 8-11 Joseph P O'Brien
1592/1- Sacred Act 204 6 8-11 J H M Gosden
806-808 Sea of Flames 28 4 8-9 D R C Elsworth
0/12426- Sinfonietta (FR) 215 5 8-5 D Menuisier
111290- Sir Roderic (IRE) 196 4 8-11 B R Millman
240365- Solo Hunter 215 6 8-1 M Meade
755-724 Special Season 17 4 8-3 J A Osborne
016423- Spring Offensive (IRE) 238 5 8-9 R A Fahey
552910- Stamp Hill (IRE) 196 4 8-8 R A Fahey
131-000 Steel Train (FR) 21 6 9-1 D O'Meara
7/43516- Strong Steps 242 5 8-7 Roger Fell
3066-41 Swift Emperor (IRE) 28 (ex5) 5 8-2 T D Barron
11165- Takatul (USA) 189 4 8-2 C Hills
65200-4 Thecornishbarron (IRE) 17 5 7-2 J Ryan
595-413 Third Time Lucky (IRE) 28 (ex5) 5 9-2 R A Fahey
37/511- Tiercel 180 4 8-1 R Varian
002224- Top Beak (IRE) 171 4 8-5 H Morrison
66002-0 Top Notch Tonto (IRE) 21 7 9-6 B Ellison
050800- Two For Two (IRE) 101 9 8-3 Roger Fell
150/31-1 Via Via (IRE) 23 (ex5) 5 8-0 J Tate
370028- Withernsea (IRE) 147 6 8-12 R A Fahey
7002-67 You're Fired (IRE) 35 6 9-8 K R Burke
04941-3 Yuften 21 6 9-6 R Charlton
16550-4 Zhui Feng (IRE) 35 4 9-3 Mrs A J Perrett
82115- Zwayyan 196 4 8-2 W J Haggas

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