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Lincoln Handicap antepost preview

Flat racing fans in Britain haven't got long to go, the turf season is nearly upon us again. One punter who can't wait for it is Stephen Boardman, @ste_b85, and he's got in early with a preview of the traditional opener to the season, the Lincoln.

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Lincoln Handicap antepost
March 28, Doncaster
Heritage Handicap, One Mile.


With most eyes currently focused on Cheltenham and Aintree, the Lincoln at Doncaster often gets passed over and neglected as it sits neatly wedged between the two colossal jumps festivals. This can sometimes prove to be a blessing in disguise for those of us who prefer to dine at the table of flat racing. It's often an enjoyable experience to sip the fine wine it has to offer at this time of the year; a rich bodied, exquisite tasting reserve from Yorkshire which can prove easy on the wallet; the Lincoln ante post market.

The last five winners of the event have been rated 98, 104, 95, 90 and 102. So with the victor coming from both the top and bottom end of the race card there's chances a plenty for those who do manage to make the final field of twenty-two. The classier types do tend to come to the fore and I always try and seek out an improver that could be better than it's current mark. Gauging what rating will be required to even make the line up in the first place can be tricky, but the last five bottom weights have been rated 91, 94, 90, 90 and 93. So as a general rule I'd concentrate on those rated 92 and above to feel fairly confident that your selection will make the main event and not have to settle for the consolation race.

There are two horses in the current list that stand out and they are Mange All and Munaaser. The last time they were seen on the course was in the same race at Newmarket last September. That race was the Silver Cambridgeshire where Munaaser finished 2nd of the twenty two runners, one length ahead of Mange All in 4th. They are both now rated 97 after that effort and look to have great prospects ahead of them during the Summer.

Mange All represents William Haggas and presumably has had the Lincoln as his target for a good few months judging by the comments his trainer made after Mange All won a handicap at Ascot in July last year: “I originally planned to go to York for the mile handicap there, maybe we will look at Doncaster next March”. A comment like this suggests that the horse is being prepared for an assault on the Lincoln and he'll be fully tuned up on the day. His two wins so far in his career have come over the mile trip and he's been found wanting when he's tried to step up to ten furlongs. With that in mind, one would imagine a flat mile on Town Moor will suit him down to the ground. Improvement this year can be expected and he's being handled by a trainer that has won this race twice in the last ten runnings. All possible indicators at this stage of proceedings point to a big run on the cards.

The second runner mentioned above who must have a great chance is Munaaser; he is Sir Michael Stoute's only representative in the race this year. Like Mange All, he too has registered two victories over one mile but Munaaser may be seen to better effect over longer in time, being by New Approach. One would expect him to be rated higher than his current mark by the time the season draws to a close and he has to rate a huge danger to all in a race like the Lincoln. He travelled beautifully when last seen in the Silver Cambridgeshire last September but ended up on the wrong side of the large field when the finish was fought out and had to settle for 2nd. If he gets decent ground at Doncaster in March, which isn't guaranteed, he should glide over the surface and be bang there at the finish.

With a month to go until the race itself, the two selections can be backed at tasty odds. They are worth chancing at this stage, especially at their current prices, and if you have these two lightly raced four year-olds on your side when the gates fly open you'll have a decent chance of collecting once the race is over. Their prices will be much shorter on the day if they make the line up.

SELECTIONS

Mange All 16/1
Munaaser 20/1

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