For some it simply marks a couple of weeks until the Grand National, for others Doncaster’s Lincoln meeting marks the unofficial start of the flat season.
With a maximum field of 22 set to do battle on Town Moor’s straight mile, it’s sure to be tough to pick out a winner in the day’s feature, but you can bet your bottom dollar we are going to try.
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How about these trio of tempting each-way propositions to get the new season underway in style?
Alan King’s dual-purpose campaigner was a consistent animal in the early parts of his career, finishing in the first three home in the six opening races of his foray on a racecourse.
A mile on good to soft ground looks to be perfect conditions, and with Fegus Sweeney on board, the jockey who has guided him to all three flat wins on board, they could be overpriced.
His form tailed off at the end of last season, having started brightly, and did the same in his four starts over jumps in the winter.
A winner on his first two hurdle outings before being well beaten the next twice. Returning from a break, we can hope that he can start this campaign like he has his last two, with a win.
William Haggas’ Mange All is all the rage in the betting but with two 20/1, a 16/1 and a 25/1 winners in the past years, it pays to go big in the Lincoln.
David O’Meara’s Mondaliste is an intriguing French import for a team that took plenty of big prizes last season including the Prix De L’Abbaye, Haydock’s Sprint Cup as well as the November Handicap here at Doncaster.
The five-year-old only got off the mark at the eighth attempt, but that form looks strong, with Prix Daniel Wildenstein fourth and Group 1 Matron Stakes runner-up Kenhope back in third.
He was third two years ago in the Group 1 Prix John Prat at Chantilly, and has been generally competing in better races than this.
With plenty of form over a mile, he’s our pick for this competitive handicap.
Saeed Bin Suroor’s charge was only a neck behind stablemate and defending Dubai World Cup winner African Story in the Al Maktoum Challenge over course and distance last month, and looks plenty of each way value to reverse the form.
Those two are one of only four in the field to have raced at Meydan in the past, so that course form will come in handy, despite the fact he hasn’t run his race in the last couple of renewals.
While African Story could potentially have been hindered by the draw, stall 1 for the selection won’t pose a problem, with it not necessary for William Buick’s mount to secure a prominent position.
In a race that has thrown up double-figure priced winners four times in the last six years, it’s worth taking a chance with this eight-year-old.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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