Dermot Weld sweating on weather for Tandem’s Lincoln Handicap raid
Last season’s Irish trainer Dermot Weld honed his precision raids on valuable British races to down a fine art striking with five of the seven runners he sent to the United Kingdom in 2012 – Princess Highway, Sapphire and Rite Of Passage were among his crack team of raiders.
This Saturday brings the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster, the race which traditionally raises the curtain on the British flat season and the Curragh-based trainer is poised to deploy his Tandem – twice a winner over an extended mile – in the contest.
Staying true to the ultra-selective approach to UK contests which brought such fine reward last term Weld won’t make a decision on whether to send the four-year-old to Town Moor until Wednesday, with the Irish Lincoln at the Curragh his preferred engagement should the forecast intemperate weather look to be materialising in Yorkshire.
Nonetheless, Tandem certainly fits the bill as Lincoln winner if you’re the type of punter who holds stock in trends.
Four year-olds have taken six of the last 10 renewals from less than a third of the total runners in that period and horses rated 95 (like Weld’s entrant) or over have taken nine runnings in the last decade. Additionally the last 10 beasts to carry the prize had won between two and four races prior to doing so.
Furthermore the formbook bears witness to Tandem’s ability to cope with testing ground with wins over an extended mile on soft and heavy ground in his back-catalogue, although Weld insists his colt wouldn’t want it too soft. With the going currently Soft at Donny, this could prove a major boost to his chances.