Lincoln Handicap: Three ways to approach the flat season opener
Nick Murphy | 26 March 2019
Who will win the Lincoln Handicap?
The Cheltenham Festival is over and the 2019 Grand National is yet to come. That means it’s time for the start of the new flat season with the Lincoln Handicap from Doncaster.
A maximum field of 22 runners will line-up for the 1m renewal which is the feature contest of a seven-race card at the Yorkshire track on Saturday.
Addeybb landed a huge gamble for William Haggas and James Doyle last year. But who will triumph this time around? Here are three possible angles to approach the opening feature race of the flat season from.
John Quinn-trained horses
Certain trainers have an affinity with certain races. For the Lincoln, see John Quinn, David O’Meara and the aforementioned Haggas. Between them, the trio have saddled the winner seven times.
Haggas doesn’t have one entered in the 2019 running. But Quinn and O’Meara do. The former will do battle with Safe Voyage, who won back-to-back at Galway and Haydock last season.
A subsequent run off a mark of 103 produced a 15th placed finish when stepped up to 1m for the first time at Ascot, but he usually runs well fresh and can give a solid account.
David O’Meara-trained horses
Yorkshire-based trainer O’Meara always has his runners in fine shape for the Lincoln. It’s not just his win with 20/1 shot Bravery in 2017 which stands out, though.
He’s also had the runner-up two times in 2015 and 2018, the third-place once in 2014 and the fourth-place twice, also in 2014 and then again in 2016. That’s remarkable consistency in such an unpredictable big-field handicap.
It also means punters should take note of his runners this time around. Humbert looks his best chance and should get in off a more than workable mark of 98.
The five-year-old is new to the yard after switching from Hugo Palmer but did finish a neck-second in the Lincoln consolation prize – the Spring Mile – 12 months ago.
That hints at another positive run over the straight mile here, with stable jockey Daniel Tudhope, who has ridden him to victory once before, set to take the ride. Remarkable and Waarif are the trainer’s other likely runners.
The ante-post favourite
Going with the ante-post favourite isn’t the most exciting way to approach the Lincoln. But it paid off last year when the well-backed Addeybb won by just over 2l, even if Lord Glitters went off as the SP favourite.
There’s not quite as much buzz around ante-post fav Auxerre this time around, although there’s plenty of reason to like his chances aside from the form angle as he bids to rack up a four-timer.
Trainer Charlie Appleby won the race with Secret Brief in 2016, while top jockey James Doyle will bypass Dubai World Cup night to go for back-to-back wins in the Lincoln.
Auxerre will also run off the exact same mark as Secret Brief, 2015 winner Gabrial and 2017 winner Bravery. While each of the last three wins have also been four-year-olds. That makes the Iffraaj gelding an interesting contender based on recent trends and ante-post support.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing