97 for William Hill Lincoln
The £100,000 William Hill Lincoln is the first major race of the Flat turf season and the 2012 renewal of the famous heritage handicap, which takes place over the straight mile at Doncaster on Saturday, March 31, has attracted 97 entries.
Sweet Lightning was the impressive winner of the William Hill Lincoln in 2011, coming home two and a half lengths clear of Brae Hill under Johnny Murtagh for owner Andrew Tinkler, chief executive of the Stobart Group.
The seven-year-old, who is trained by Michael Dods, has not run since that memorable victory but Tim Jones, racing manager to Andrew Tinkler, revealed today that the William Hill Lincoln is on the agenda again. Sweet Lightning is a 16/1 chance with William Hill.
Jones said: “Sweet Lightning is in Dubai at the moment and is going to have one or maybe two runs out there leading up the William Hill Lincoln. We will take it from there.
“The reality is that he is now rated significantly higher than he was last year (8lb more) so whether he can go there and carry that sort of weight in the Lincoln or not, I don’t know. There are options at Listed level which we will also take into account.
“Very shortly after last year’s success he suffered an injury that he has taken a very long time to recover from, so it is a matter of trying to find out whether or not he has retained his ability, but he appears to be in great form at the moment and the whole idea of last season was to get him ready for Dubai.
“I would like to think he has more improvement in him, the other interesting thing is that last year’s race was his first run over a mile for quite some time except when he ran first time out in Dubai.
“However, the horse indicated enough to Andrew there that possibly he could be even better over a mile and so he was the one who led the decision-making process to run him in the Lincoln and he looked better than he had ever looked that day.
“The plan will be for Johnny Murtagh to ride him again and similar ground to last year will be perfect.”
If successful again in 2012, Sweet Lightning would become the first dual winner of the William Hill Lincoln since it was moved to Doncaster in 1965. Ob (1906/07) and Babur (1957/58) were the two dual winners of the race at its former home in Lincoln.
Penitent, a 16/1 chance with William Hill, won the William Hill Lincoln in 2010 and has also been entered. His victory two years ago was for trainer William Haggas but he is now under the care of North Yorkshire handler David O’Meara, having been sold for 40,000 guineas at Tattersalls in October.
The William Hill Lincoln has a safety limit of 22 runners and horses that fail to make the cut for the race are eligible to line up in the £40,000 William Hill Spring Mile, which also takes place on Saturday, March 31, over the same course and distance.
Eton Forever ran away with the William Hill Spring Mile in 2011 and trainer Roger Varian is planning to send the son of Oratorio back to Doncaster on March 31 for a crack at the William Hill Lincoln itself. He is the current 10/1 favourite with William Hill.
The Newmarket handler said: “Eton Forever has wintered very well and, although it is still very early days, he will be on a training schedule to get him to the Lincoln although a lot can happen in the meantime.
“He didn’t do much wrong last season. He ran two good races at Ascot but we came away from there, particularly after the Royal Hunt Cup where he was travelling very well two furlongs out, thinking that he didn’t really get the trip over that stiff mile. We think an easy mile like the Doncaster mile or a stiff seven furlongs will be his ideal trip.
“He is rated 103 now, which is quite a high mark and he hasn’t done anything to suggest he should be any higher than that, but time will tell if he progresses further this season.
Primaeval, trained by James Fanshawe, is the 11/1 second favourite with William Hill and recently confirmed his well-being when second in a competitive handicap at Meydan, Dubai on January 21.
Godolphin has entered Man Of Action, who defeated Eton Forever at Doncaster in September and Start Right. The pair are both 12/1 chances with William Hill.
Weights for the William Hill Lincoln will be revealed on Wednesday, February 15.
The two-day William Hill Lincoln Meeting takes place on Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1.
For further information and to book tickets please go to www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk
Latest William Hill Odds: 10/1 Eton Forever, 11/1 Fury, Primaeval, 12/1 Man Of Action, Start Right, 14/1 Edinburgh Knight, Robemaker, 16/1 Askaud, Cocozza, Dubawi Sound, Font Of Wisdom, Glor Na Mara, Hawkeyethenoo, Mull Of Killough, Penitent, Smarty Socks, Sweet Lightning, Take It To The Max, Voodoo Prince, 20/1 Barren Brook, Black Spirit, Bonnie Brae, Brae Hill, Chiswick Bey, Clockmaster, Don't Call Me, King Of Jazz, Kyllachy Star, Leviathan, Pintura, Prime Exhibit, Stevie Thunder, Tullius, 25/1 Amitola, Arabian Star, Axiom, Call To Reason, Captain Bertie, Captain Ramius, Cockney Class, Cool Macavity, Crown Counsel, Field of Dream, First Post, Kingscroft, Kiwi Bay, Lowther, Mia’s Boy, Mont Ras, Perfect Cracker, Redvers, Reve du Nuit, Shavansky, Snow Bay, The Tichbone, Weapon of Choice, 33/1 Arabian Spirit, Ashva, Borug, Dubai Dynamo, Dunn’o, Hung Parliament, Kay Gee Be, Kinyras, Light From Mars, Lockantanks, Miami Gator, Mullins Way, Nice Style, Norse Blues, Oriental Scot, Pat’s Legacy, Prince of Burma, Rakaan, Shamdarley, Swiftly Done, Tevez, The Rectifier, 40/1 Fantasy Gladiator, I’m Super Too, Magic Cat, Mawaakef, Nazreef, Sam Sharp, Silvery Moon, Tartan Trip, Zacynthus, 50/1 Georgebernhardshaw, Merchant of Medici, Silenceofthewind, Ted’s Brother, 66/1 Dozy, Joe, Legal Legacy, My Kingdom, Silverware, West End Lad, Quite Sparky. (EW ¼ 1,2,3,4)
Richard Fahey to train the winner of the William Hill Lincoln: 9/2
Dr Marwan Koukash-owned winner of the William Hill Lincoln: 6/1
Previous winner to win the William Hill Lincoln: 10/1
William Hill spokeswoman Lucy Rhodes said: “With two previous winners, the reigning William Hill Spring Mile title-holder and two Godolphin entries all towards the head of the betting, not only does this year's William Hill Lincoln have particular strength-in-depth, but also looks one of the most open affairs seen at the initial entry stage for several years.”
THE WILLIAM HILL LINCOLN FACTS AND FIGURES
* A race called the Lincolnshire Handicap was first run over two miles at Lincoln in August, 1849.
* In 1853, a new fixture was staged at Lincoln in February and featured a race called the Lincoln Spring Handicap, run over a mile and a half and won by Caurire. The distance of this contest was reduced to a mile in 1855 and moved to a date in March.
* In 1859, the two races merged to become the Lincolnshire Handicap, run over a mile in March.
* The Lincolnshire Handicap was run at Lincoln (AThe Carholme@) up to and including 1964. Following that course’s closure, the race moved to Doncaster in 1965 and was renamed the Lincoln Handicap.
* Along with the Grand National, the William Hill Lincoln forms the ASpring Double.@ Jockey Dave Dick achieved the unique distinction of winning both races - he scored in the Lincoln of 1941 on Gloaming, carrying just 7st 4lb and went to triumph in the ADevon Loch@ Grand National of 1956 on ESB, who shouldered 11st 3lb to victory.
* During World War II, three runnings were held at Pontefract (1943-1945). The 1916 renewal was at Lingfield, while there was no race in 1917 or 1918 due to World War I. Due to ,34 million redevelopment at Doncaster, the 2006 renewal was held at Redcar, while in 2007 the race was hosted by Newcastle. It returned to a revamped Doncaster in 2008.
* The dozen winners of the William Hill Lincoln between 1926 and 1937 (King Of Clubs (1926), Priory Park (1927), Dark Warrior (1928), Elton (1929), Leonidas II (1930), Knight Error (1931), Jerome Fandor (1932), Dorigen (1933), Play On (1934), Flamenco (1935), Overcoat (1936) and Marmaduke Jinks (1937)) gave their names to the horses used in the popular board game Totopoly.
* There have been only been two dual winners of the William Hill Lincoln - Ob (1906 & 1907) and Babur (1957 & 1958). No horse has managed to win more than once since the race was transferred to Town Moor.
* The biggest shocks came with the 100/1 shots King Of Clubs (1926), Elton (1929) and Jockey Treble (1947). Since it has been run at Doncaster, the biggest-price winner was the 50/1 shot Bronze Hill (1973) while there have been six 33/1 successes during the same period - Southwark Star (1975), Cuvee Charlie (1988), Evichstar (1990), Roving Minstrel (1995), Stone Ridge (1996) and Zucchero (2002).
* The shortest-price winner was Saucebox (1855, Evens). During its time at Doncaster, seven favourites have obliged - Riot Act (1966), Captains Wings (1978), Cataldi (1985), Right Wing (1999), John Ferneley (2000), Nimello (2001) and Stream Of Gold (2005).
* Since its transfer to Doncaster, the most successful trainer has been Paul Cole, with three wins (Kuala Lipis 1997, John Ferenely, 2000 and Nimello, 2001).
* No jockey has been able to win more than twice since 1965. Jimmy Fortune, Richard Quinn and Jimmy Quinn are the only current jockeys to have ridden two winners, joining Scobie Breasley, Sandy Barclay, Edward Hide and Greville Starkey. The Lincoln was one of the few races to elude Lester Piggott.
* Since 1965, Cataldi (1985) and Babodana (2004) share the honour of having carried the biggest weight to victory - 9st 10lb. The lowest winning weight during the same period was the 7st 3lb carried by Southwark Star (1975)
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