The Lincoln, run over a straight mile at Doncaster, is the first major handicap of the Flat season and, invariably, presents punters with a tricky problem to solve. Rather unhelpfully, the draw has proved inconclusive in recent years, but we’ve run the rule over the 22-strong field and highlighted a selection that we think could go well at decent odds.
Favourite Mange All (5/1) actually finished 3¾ lengths behind Gm Hopkins (6/1) in the Silver Cambridgeshire over 1m1f at Newmarket last October and is just 4lb better off. On the face of it, he looks to have work to do to reverse the form with John Gosden’s charge, but Gm Hopkins was subsequently beaten twice off his revised mark, so it is conceivable that Mange All is the more progressive of the pair.
Certainly, his three starts over a mile have yielded two wins and a third, beaten a nose and a short head, so dropping back in distance is probably in his favour. He is 11lb higher in the weights than when staying on well to win over a straight mile at Ascot last July, but trainer William Haggas won the Lincoln with a similar type, Penitent, in 2010, so he clearly knows what is required.
David O’Meara (pictured) saddles French import Mondialiste (16/1) who was third beaten just 1¾ lengths to Havana Gold in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly as a three-year-old.
The son of Galileo was a 150/1 chance on that occasion, but finally got off the mark when holding on gamely to beat Monsieur Playboy by a neck in a conditions race over a mile at Saint Cloud last May. That form is nigh on impossible to assess in the context of this race and the five-year-old hasn’t been seen in public since. Granted the North Yorkshire trainer’s previous record with cast-offs from other yards, Mondialiste is a proper ‘dark horse,’ who must be feared for that reason alone.
Hillbilly Boy (16/1) officially improved by 15lb on turf last season and although unable to take advantage of a favourable mark when only third beaten 1¾ lengths on the all-weather at Lingfield two weeks ago, he should strip fitter for that run. He ran creditably in defeat off his current mark when 12th of 28, beaten 6¾ lengths in the Buckingham Palace Stakes over 7f at Ascot last June and remains unexposed over a mile.
He is trained by Martin Smith, former assistant to John Best. Smith was the unsung hero in his former role as assistant trainer and actually did all the hands-on training himself, most notably during the Kingsgate Native era.
Ocean Tempest (20/1) returns from a fruitless winter in Dubai, as he did when winning last year and, although he’s 8lb higher in the weights this time, he is actually 5lb lower than when winning a Class 2 handicap, over 7½f at Chester last August. Backing him, once again, requires something of a leap of faith, but it is difficult to argue that he’s not well treated on his best form. His recent wins have come on good to soft and soft going, but he seems equally effective under slightly faster conditions and he could go well at a price.
Lincoln Betting Tip
- Mange All must be high on any shortlist but in search of a little value our Lincoln betting tips advice is to back HILLBILLY BOY each-way at 16/1 with Bet365, Betfred or Paddy Power. Smith’s five-year-old ran a race full of promise at Lingfield a fortnight ago on just his fourth attempt beyond seven furlongs and should be spot on this time.