Doncaster Lincoln Meeting Preview
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Doncaster Lincoln Meeting Preview

The new turf Flat season in Britain gets under way on Saturday with the traditional Lincoln Meeting at Doncaster heralding new beginnings. The eagerly anticipated Town Moor meeting runs from 1.15pm-5.16pm with a busy eight-race card in store, including the Lincoln Handicap itself at 3.35pm. Conditions are forecast to be 'Good to soft, soft in places' and the Racing Post looks ahead to all the action at Doncaster.


1.15pm - SBK Brocklesby Conditions Stakes (5f)

Very much day one of term for these two-year-olds seeing the racecourse for the first time, ensuring the betting is going to be a key aid.

Mehmas colt Persian Force carries the burden of the heftiest price tag, costing ?225,000 as a yearling. The Richard Hannon-trained contender is a brother to speedy juvenile winner Gubbass and has the right profile on paper for this Brocklesby test so no shocks to see him in the mix.

Mark Johnston won this race in 2015 and 2016 and his BEACH BREEZE looks to have the right attributes. The Footstepsinthesand colt is a half-brother to the useful sprinter Dream Shot and should be well prepared for this first race of the turf season.

Kiss N Cuddle, a 45,000 gns son of Clodovil, and Knowwhatimeanharry - for a yard with six wins in this race previously - are others worth considering.

Selection: Beach Breeze

Next Best: Persian Force


1.50pm - SBK Cammidge Trophy Stakes (Listed, 6f)

Kevin Ryan's Ayr Gold Cup winner Bielsa is a dual C&D winner in four previous attempts and does possess a decent record when fresh, so he is one that is likely to shape well, for all that he might be vulnerable to some younger rivals today.

Garrus won a Group 3 in France last season and is another that is more than capable of bringing his A-game off a lay-off, though perhaps Charlie Hills' runner would prefer a better surface.

Returning as a four-year-old, DILIGENT HARRY may be the answer. He was progressive on the all-weather last spring, including an impressive 6f win at Lingfield on Good Friday and a placed effort in the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle in June.

He also narrowly missed out on a win in that grade at Newbury in July on his first turf start.

His final start at Ascot on Champions Day can be forgiven and, with any drying conditions in his favour, he should go well on this return to action for Clive Cox and Adam Kirby.

Another four-year-old is Mo Celita, the only filly in the line-up, and having acquitted herself well in group races in France in the autumn, she is another with plenty reason to believe she can get involved in this.

Season: Diligent Harry

Next Best: Mo Celita


2.25pm - SBK Spring Mile Handicap (1m)

John Quinn's Empirestateofmind was very consistent in the second half of last season, posting figures of 3211212 from late July to October. He's equally effective on slow/fast ground and the Starspangledbanner gelding will have clear ambitions here if resuming in that same form now starting out his four-year-old journey.

General Lee was another beacon of consistency last season for the Cole team, ending his campaign with an impressive 1m1f success at Goodwood in August. He's rated 6lb higher for this seasonal return and has proved himself fresh. He also acts on soft ground, though his very best form has come on a quicker surface.

The trio of Mostawaa, Star Shield and MAY NIGHT come here with some recent all-weather racing behind them to aid match sharpness.

Andrew Balding's May Night sports first-time cheekpieces on his turf return and could still have further progress in this sphere for David Probert. In a wide open race, he may put his fitness to good use.

Selection: May Night

Next Best: Empirestateofmind


3.00pm - SBK Doncaster Mile Stakes (Listed, 1m)

Ratings would suggest this is a race for CHINDIT to lose. Richard Hannon's colt won the Champagne Stakes here as a juvenile and bagged the Greenham at Newbury on his comeback last spring. He ran with credit in a trio of Group 1 mile races afterwards, including the 2000 Guineas, before ending his season with solid showings at Goodwood and Newmarket.

With his ability to go well off a lay-off proven already, Rossa Ryan's mount should prove too strong and, in doing so, make it 3-3 here at Doncaster.

Roger Varian has a good record in this race and Royal Champion is very lightly-raced. We haven't seen him since a below-par run in the Dante at York last May, but he's still got plenty time on his side.

Boosala won a 7f soft-ground handicap here in November off a mark of 97 and ended the year with a near miss on the Tapeta at Newcastle in December. He's worthy of a crack in this grade for the William Haggas team.

Tempus lost his way a little with Roger Charlton in 2020 and while he has started well in two all-weather runs for Archie Watson - including a win at Newcastle in January after a long absence - he has more on his plate here.

Selection: Chindit

Next Best: Boosala

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3.35pm - SBK Lincoln (Heritage Handicap, 1m)

The headline acts are Modern News for Charlie Appleby and Mujtaba for William Haggas. The former is 3-3 in handicaps and comes here after a pleasing prep-run in Meydan in a Listed contest at 7f last month.

He promises to be suited by the mile trip and connections have booked to talented 7lb claimer Harry Davies to ease his 9st 7lb second-top-weight burden.

Mujtaba, meanwhile, has won all three starts thus far and the Dubawi gelding made short work of an opening mark of 90 when dismissing Empirestateofmind at Redcar (1m, soft) in October. He's rated 8lb higher now but, again, Adam Farragher is enlisted to offset 5lb of that in the plate.

He surely will have ambitions in pattern-race company before too long.

That duo are much respected and they could have quite a battle at the head of the market before the stalls open.

Irish Admiral often promised more than he delivered last season, though he did win well at Redcar in late August over this trip. He's on a fair mark and a first-time tongue-tie is deployed on seasonal comeback. Trainer Haggas clearly has a more favoured chance with Mujtaba, but this 5YO gelding could outrun his odds.

French import Darkness starts out for David O'Meara here having been gelded since he left the continent and a mark of 95 is far from insurmountable, while the likes of last year's runner-up Brunch and Richard Hannon's filly Teodolina aren't crossed off in haste.

NOTRE BELLE BETE has won both starts since joining Andrew Balding from Irish trainer Darren Bunyan. He was never stronger than at the line at Wolverhampton recently, doing well off what was a slow pace.

The 5lb penalty for that win was enough to sneak in here off 8st 8lb and he's got an each-way chance now. The son of Zoffany was well touted during his time in Ireland and, while yet to win on turf, has plenty experience and is now seemingly putting things together for this new trainer.

Selection: Notre Belle Bete

Next Best: Mujtaba


4.10pm - SBK Betting Podcast Maiden Stakes (1m2f)

An even split in terms of runners with experience and those making the racecourse for the first time, with four of each.

John & Thady Gosden's Almuhit - a well-bred son of Sea The Stars - is amongst the interesting ones in the latter category, alongside William Haggas' Derby-entered son of Galileo General Idea in the Royal colours. They are both worth noting.

This race has tended to favour those with experience, however, and therefore GROUNDBREAKER is preferred. Andrew Balding's Oasis Dream colt built on his 7f Kempton debut when inched out over a mile there in December in a race that has produced two next-time-out winners already.

As his stamina is teased out further, with a hood now added, he could be the answer.

Selection: Groundbreaker

Next Best: General Idea


4.46pm - SBK Apprentice Handicap Division 1 (1m2f)

He's not the most reliable but Sandyman was second at Nottingham in October after a break and Mick Appleby's charge is rated 6lb lower for this opening assignment of 2022 if he can find that form again.

Love Your Work may prove popular in the market given his recent excellence on the all-weather but while he's got seven wins in that sphere on his record, he's 0-13 on turf.

PRECISION STORM is another without a win on turf but he's been second-best in two recent starts at Wolverhampton and he went close at Bath last season. He reverts to the grass from a much lower rating compared to the AW and Mark Loughnane's charge can give a good account.

Be Fair was fourth in this contest a year ago, when rated 7lb higher, and has the benefit of running well in recent all-weather outings to support his case now.

Selection: Precision Storm

Next Best: Be Fair


5.16pm - SBK Apprentice Handicap Division 2 (1m2f)

A few of these have questions over them. Top-weight Zambezi Magic isn't without a chance if he resumes in the same sort of mood that he ended last season in.

Mitigator won well in re-fitted blinkers at Kempton a fortnight ago, having been well backed to do so, he's rated 3lb higher back on turf but is unexposed at this sort of trip.

Preference just goes to INVINCIBLE SOLDIER for the Clive Cox team. He was a winner at Salisbury last summer in one of just two turf outings at this distance.

He also scored at Wolverhampton in the autumn and had a perfectly pleasing comeback run at the Dunstall Park venue this month to tee him up for this.

Selection: Invincible Soldier

Next Best: Mitigator


V: 1.38.0 All rights reserved. August 2021