Sweet Lightning Strikes for Lincoln Glory
1 Sweet Lightning 16/1
Sweet Lightning struck to give Johnny Murtagh a second successive victory in the first big race of the new turf Flat season, the William Hill Lincoln at Doncaster.
The Michael Dods-trained six-year-old was having his fifth outing of the year as he had already had four runs at Meydan in Dubai.
Murtagh had his mount settled nicely from stall 16 and pulled clear on the stands side along with Brae Hill, while Eton Rifles and Dubai Hills broke free on the far side. As Eton Rifles began to tire up front, Sweet Lightning (16-1) stamped his authority, beating Brae Hill by two and a half lengths.
The jockey, who won last season on Penitent, said: "This is great. He's been in Dubai and fair dues to him - Andrew (Tinkler, owner) said the Lincoln was made for him. He settled well and travelled great.
"In Dubai this year his races were very slow and he just wasn't finishing. The strong pace today really helped, a couple of months in the sun did him good and I've enjoyed it too!
"We were a bit behind at halfway, but I got a nice tow into the race - I know I won on the other side last year but I do like being stands side at Doncaster."
Tinkler is chief executive of the Eddie Stobart haulage company, whose founder passed away this week.
He said: "It has been an emotional week and for this to happen has really helped us out. It was a tremendous effort from the horse. I said to Michael there would be plenty of pace on and he could run through them at the end.
"I watched his run over a mile in Dubai and he couldn't get through, but I knew he'd be finishing well today. I'd just like to send my condolences to all the family - Edward, this is for you."
Dods went on: "I was going to give him a break after Dubai, but Andrew wanted to run here and he was proved right and he's done it really nicely. We dropped him in trip, but he seems to have thrived on it. I'll probably keep him going and I might have to look at a Listed race now."
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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