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Charlie Hills vouches for Captain Bertie wellbeing ahead of the Lincoln

Charlie Hills has confirmed the week delay to the running of the Lincoln will cause no problems for his Captain Bertie who is “still in great form at home” according to the Lambourn trainer. A two and a half length fourth in the Spring Mile last year, the Captain is currently 7/1 joint favourite for the heritage handicap with Coral.

One of the reasons for his lofty position in the market is undoubtedly his form on the soft going expected at Town Moor for the scheduled race on Saturday. The five year-old posted some high quality performances on slow ground last term beating Fury over 1m on soft ground in the Spring Cup at Newbury before posting a two-length second to Bonnie Brae over 7f on heavy going in the Bunbury Cup.

The yard from he hails has been in great nick this term in what is just handler Charlie Hills third season with his own name on the trainer’s licence. Hills is operating at a 30 percent strike rate for 2013 with nine wins from 30 runners.

Among the other contestants with strong form on the expected going is Chapter Seven, currently 9/1 for Saturday’s 1m tear-up.There are just three runners in the line-up who are unbeaten on soft ground and Stuart William’s four-year-old is the only one to have taken multiple contests.

Having beaten Lahaag, Coral’s 7/1 ante-post joint favourite for the race, by a head over 1m1f at York last term Chapter Seven must concede that just 1lb more on Saturday.

Further down the market Declan Carroll’s course and distance winner Swiftly Done lurks on a potential featherweight and should be right at home in testing conditions having taken the laurels in three of four runs on ground described as soft or worse.

The six-year-old looks set to sneak into the the race-day 22 with Tandem and Field Of Dream, to name but two, unlikely to take their places in the Lincoln field. Just 2lbs above his previous best winning mark and likely to get ground that others will dislike as much as he relishes the 25/1 on offer with Coral looks decent value.