Lincoln Preview – The Key Contenders
Five Runners To Watch Out For At Doncaster
The flat turf season returns this weekend as the SBK Lincoln takes centre stage on Doncaster’s eight-race card. Our expert editor has highlighted the names to watch out for in this 1mile handicap contest.
Favourite – MUJTABA
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William Haggas has been the trainer to follow in the Lincoln in recent times, winning the prize on four occasions, most recently with future Group 1 performer Addeybb in 2018. The Newmarket handler sends three to Town Moor on Saturday in search of a record-breaking fifth win in the valuable handicap spearheaded by the unbeaten MUJTABA.
The son of Dubawi certainly looked one to follow last season after recording comfortable victories in novice company at Chepstow and Chester, and duly stepped up on those winning efforts with a dominant victory on handicap debut from a mark of 90 at Redcar on his final start as a three-year-old.
William Haggas’ improving colt looks destined for Group company as the season progresses and is a worthy market leader returning from a mark of 98 on seasonal reappearance this weekend.
Market Leaders – MODERN NEWS & SALEYMM
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Charlie Appleby has landed the Lincoln twice in the past five renewals and will be confident of a bold show from MODERN NEWS who landed a trio of handicap contests last season for connections last season, including over 7f on Town Moor last September.
The lightly raced four-year-old shaped well on seasonal return when finishing third in Listed company at Meydan last month and with the step up to 1mile promising to suit Charlie Appleby’s charge, Modern News rates an obvious player on Saturday with a proven fitness edge also in his favour.
Although failing to land a blow on his opening two turf starts last season, SALEYMM rounded off his three-year-old campaign with two impressive victories on the all-weather at Chelmsford and Wolverhampton.
The last of those successes came on handicap debut from a mark of 87 where the son of Dubawi was in another league to his opposition, quickening away smartly to justify odds-on favouritism by just under five lengths.
Simon & Ed Crisford’s improving four-year-old will be fancied to go close this weekend, however, a 10lb higher mark will make things tougher for Saleymm on seasonal reappearance and has to prove he can transfer his all-weather form back on turf.
Each Way Selections – DARKNESS & IRISH ADMIRAL
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Trainer David O’Meara landed the Lincoln back in 2017 with Bravery after making the switch from Aidan O’Brien’s yard, and connections will be hoping his latest recruit DARKNESS can show up well on his first start since joining from Jean-Claude Rouget.
Purchased for 70,000 euros, the son of Siyouni could turn out to be a shrewd acquisition for the North-Yorkshire handler after previously winning three races when trained in France as a juvenile, including at Listed level.
Darkness raced just three times as a three-year-old last season and although comfortably held in a pair of Group 3 contests at Parislongchamp and Chantilly, David O’Meara’s latest French recruit could be well treated off an opening mark of 95 now starting off on British soil and certainly fits the type that the yard often excels with.
Mujtaba is the obvious William Haggas runner to consider, however, it would be folly to dismiss IRISH ADMIRAL despite the current lengthy odds.
The five-year-old contested some valuable handicaps last season before gaining a deserved second victory for the yard at Redcar, where William Haggas’ charge comfortably saw off the challenge of David O’Meara’s Hortzadar by 2l.
Irish Admiral then faced a tough task when contesting the 1m1f Cambridgeshire at Newmarket on final start as a four-year-old last September, but despite finishing well beaten on that occasion, Irish Admiral was still in contention before fading out of conation in the last furlong after racing prominently throughout.
The return to a mile should very much suit William Haggas’ runner this weekend and having previously won fresh after a break in the past, the five-year-old could well outrun his odds and his valuable experience in competitive handicaps could turn out to be a real asset in this contest.