The days are finally getting longer and the clocks are preparing to go back and that means one thing – the return of the Flat season and the first big handicap of the campaign, The Lincoln.
Roger Charlton’s charge has been well backed since the weekend courtesy of Robin Hoods Bay winning the Winter Derby Trial as the son of Dylan Thomas was only a head behind when giving 3lb to the Lingfield winner on his latest start.
Charlton is upbeat about his chances but is clearly in no doubt as to the importance of the ground. He said: “I’m happy with the current good, good to firm in places, and as long as the ground doesn’t go slow the intention is to run.”
He added: “His all-weather form has been good and it’s a question of whether he can convert that to turf.”
One of his closest rivals in the betting comes in the form of Tullius, at 16/1, from Andrew Balding’s yard who has been the subject of support since the trainer confirmed that star apprentice Oisin Murphy will take the ride, taking off 3lb to boot.
A winner of the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury just under two years ago, the six-year-old suffered an injury which kept him out until the next campaign where he returned in black-type company to run with credit but little reward at Newmarket.
However, his handler is upbeat about his chances for the new term, saying: “He’s in great form and is a Group winner at his best. He is entitled to run well but will need a decent draw.”
Balding also said his biggest concerns are in compete contrast to that of Charlton’s yard as he added: “…hopefully it’s not going to be fast ground, which is the only thing that would be a worry for him.”
Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan gave the early impression that both camps would be satisfied with the surface, he said: “We have showers forecast most days now but nothing heavy and, depending on the amount of rain, I expect it to be good ground generally, with good to soft or good to firm in place, depending on the amount of rain we get.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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