The sun is beating down and you could be forgiven for thinking it was Royal Ascot week rather than a couple of days before the Lincoln.
The flat season is almost here and bettors with any sense will be reining their stakes in over the coming month until the form settles and we know where we are.
That being said, I thought I’d use today’s post to take an in depth look at the Lincoln Handicap on Saturday, the first major flat race of the season. Here’s hoping we can find a couple at value prices.
The Lincoln Handicap
Simply by looking at the name of the sponsor, we can see that this will be a tricky puzzle to work out -it’s a bookmakers benefit of a race in the form of a mad cavalry charge over the straight mile at Doncaster. However, with judicious use of stats and trends hopefully we can pick our way through the minefield.
I think we can safely exclude any horse over the age of 6 (only 2 winners over 6 years old in the last 30 runnings, none in the last 10 years). Nice stat that because it allows us to get rid of nearly a third of the field in a single stroke -Smarty Socks, Mia’s Boy, Lowther, Light from Mars, Stevie Thunder, Shavansky and Dubai Dynamo all fail on that basis.
We can also exclude any runner with an official rating below 91 (91 was the lowest rated winner in the last 10 years – and the next lowest rated winner in that time was rated 95). In fact I’m inclined to take out any runner that isn’t rated at least 95 This allows us to get rid of Barren Brook and Amitola.
All of the last 10 winners had previously won over at least a mile or further and this allows us to take out Field of Dream, Cocozza, Fury and Brae Hill.
9 of the last 10 winners had between 2 and 4 career win (all of the last 9) and this allows us to exclude Edinburgh Knight, Pintura and Don’t Call Me
Now, I may be going one trend too far with this one (but I’m going to do it anyway!) but none of the last 10 winners had won at Doncaster before. This allows us to get rid of Eton Forever and Man of Action.
We now have a shortlist of:
Start Right, Askaud, Clockmaker and Mull of Killough
I’m not saying none of the others will win – there’s a few extremely well fancied ones we’ve got rid of – but the trends say they are up against it.
I’d like to exclude some on the basis of the draw but the bias that used to exist seems to have disappeared. In the last 10 years, winners have been fairly evenly spread over low, middle and high draws.
Let’s look at the chances of our shortlist:
Start Right – It’s interesting to see a Godolphin horses back in the UK so early. A very interesting runner and one I shall have a small each way interest on at 12/1
Askaud – Both trainer and jockey are a bit of a worry for me but 33/1 is too big to be ignored about this one. Another small each way interest.
Clockmaker – Doesn’t win often but could well be in the shake up at a nice price. Another small each way interest at 28/1 with Sporting Bet
Mull of Killough – My real fancy this one – 3rd in this race 2 years ago, a decent win in a Class 2 at Lingfield last time out for his new trainer, a 50% place strike rate on the turf -I’m very keen on this one, 14/1 looks too big to me and I could see him going off shorter. A reasonable each way bet is called for.
Small each way interests on Start Right, Askaud and Clockmaker at 12/1, 28/1 and 33/1 respectively.
A decent each way bet on Mull of Killough at 14/1
That’s all from me today
Good luck whatever you are backing