While hugely looking forward to next week’s Grand National meeting at Aintree it is time to dust off the flat form book and take a close look at Saturday’s Lincoln handicap at Doncaster. Some of the more interesting runners and their best prices at the time of writing are Captain Cat 10/1, Whispering Warrior 12/1, Gabrial’s Kaka 12/1, Off Art 16/1, Rebellious Guest 16/1, Bronze Angel 20/1, Global Village 33/1, One More Word 33/1, and Dance and Dance 33/1.
The current favourite Captain Cat has got to be of major interest after the win of Robin Hoods Bay in last weeks Lingfield’s winter derby. At Lingfield in a cl2 handicap in January Captain Cat was beaten a head by Robins Hood Bay and was probably unlucky not to collect. Being by Dillon Thomas out of a Sadlers Wells mare his return to turf should not present any problems. Very lightly raced for a 5yo he won his maiden over a straight mile at Newmarket gd/fm May 2012. The ability to win over a straight mile particularly at Newmarket is found in the CV of many previously Lincoln winners. His very successful trainers only runner in the race for 25years, his credentials are highly respected.
The David Simcock trained Whispering Warrior showed a nice level of form to win the Wolverhampton Lincoln trial, cl2 handicap tidily off 91. Off a mark of 96 he is not badly treated. While he stays further than a mile the best of his form seems to be on a turning track and is passed over.
Richard Fahy seems to target this race as he has had 24 runners in the past 10 years. He has also been pretty successful in the same period winning it with Brae Hill in 2012 and having seven of his runners placed. Gabriel’s Kaka would seem to have the talent to improve Mr Fahys record in the race. On his final appearance at York in October he ran a fine race to finish 1 3/4L off a mark of 94 behind the John Gosden trained Seek Again who subsequently won the Hollywood Derby in America. This was very solid form indeed and a mark only 1lb higher seems very fair. He has won over 1mile at Pontefract with its long testing straight suggesting that he may be well suited by Doncasters straight mile. Definitely one for the short list.
The very much in form Tim Easterby has an interesting runner in Off Art. He has not run since June were he displayed the profile of an improving animal. When stepping up from 7f to a mile he stayed on well to win by a sh/hd in a cl2 handicap. Prior to that he had shown course form when winning aver 7f gd/sft again putting all his best work in at the finish. A previous outing is not necessary to win the Lincoln so coming from this talented handler he must be seriously considered.
The Marcus Tregoning trained Bronze Angel is worth a second look. Another who has performed well over Newmarkets straight course having won there over 1m1f and been placed in the Cambridgeshire should be finishing strongly on Saturday.
Dance and Dance
Ed Vaughans rumoured booking of apprentice of the moment Oisin Murphy for his veteran Dance and Dance is interesting. In his last race he ran respectably off a mark of 90 in a Cl2 handicap at Lingfield were he was a staying on third to Birdman. He copes well with a straight mile having won at Newmarket and if the man of the moment Murphy is on board he is worth considering.
One More Word
With the Hills family’s record at the track One More Word is worth a second look. At the course in September over 7f he ran a race full of promise. Having been short of room he stayed on well inside the final furlong to chase home the very useful Breton Rock to whom he was conceding 2lbs. Off a 3lb higher mark he does not look badly treated. Interestingly top jockey Tom Queally has been booked and comes here instead of the lucrative Dubai World Cup meeting.
Selection: Gabrial’s Kaka
Danger: One More Word