Both races are notoriously difficult to predict with the one mile Lincoln race at Doncaster often won by in-form stables. Yet there are a few horses worth noting among the anticipated 22 runner field.
Captain Cat is the ante-post favourite based on his second to recent Winter Derby winner Robin Hoods Bay in his previous race. Although he is available at 10/1 with William Hill, his best form appears to have been reserved for all-weather tracks with only one turf victory recorded back in May 2012 at Newmarket.
Gabrial’s Kaka is priced at 11/1 with Ladbrokes and produced consistent form on good ground throughout last season with a win at Pontefract particularly impressive. After being outclassed in the Dee Stakes behind Magician, he was downgraded to handicaps but there is just the suggestion that he may be a better horse in smaller field.
Whispering Warrior has recently run twice on the all-weather to tune his fitness ahead of this race. Quoted at 14/1 by 888Sport , he recorded two wins at grade 4 level last season but has yet to show that he is capable of winning a grade 2 event on the turf after two disappointing efforts at a similar level last summer in sizeable fields.
Andrew Balding will be hoping that Tullius can register his third win on a seasonal debut after winning on his spring racecourse appearance in both 2011 and 2012. Injury problems curtailed his racing campaign until October last year but he is a horse with proven form when fresh and Ladbrokes are offering 16/1 for his chances on Saturday.
Last season’s winning trainer and horse combination John Quinn and LEVITATE (see video below) will hope to reproduce their effort on the Doncaster Town Moor from March 2013. In seven races last season, he was always placed in the first four and the odds 16/1 with Boylesports appear reasonable each-way value. There is also the possibility that he could run in a listed race on the same day.
2013 William Hill Lincoln won in a close finish by Levitate and Darren Egan..
One of the other more interesting contenders is the Jim Bolger trained PAENE MAGNUS who was allocated his seasonal reappearance last spring in a Leopardstown Listed race won by Declaration of War. Since then the horse has been dropped in class and finished a light campaign on turf with an encouraging second to Campanology at the Curragh. He appears effective on any surface and can be backed at a stand-out 20/1 with sponsors William Hill.
As ever with the Lincoln Handicap, much may depend on the draw and pointers are often in evidence after the running of the William Hill Spring Mile over the same distance. In previous seasons winning horses tend to be drawn 15 or less but there is no definite yardstick.
Speaking of the Spring Mile, it may be worth noting Brownsea Brink from the Richard Hannon yard should he fail to make the final entry for the Lincoln. He was narrowly beaten at Lingfield over seven furlongs last week when appearing for the first time since November and is more effective over the mile distance.
William Hill Lincoln
- 5pts each way – Levitate @ 16/1 (Generally)
- 5pts each way – Paene Magnus @ 20/1 (William Hill)