Well it’s that time of year again folks, it’s the race that ushers in the brand new Flat season in Britain – the Lincoln Handicap, held over a straight mile on Doncaster’s Town Moor.
Forming the first leg of the 'Spring Double' (with the second leg being the Grand National a week on Saturday), the Lincoln Handicap is one of the most popular betting races on the Flat and we're here to offer some betting tips on this notoriously tricky puzzle.
Those punters who enjoy a speculative each-way double have the unenviable task of trying to crack this 22-runner conundrum before any potential winnings can roll over to the equally daunting Aintree puzzle.
Godolphin on to Gigginstown this year? It’s entirely plausible.
A race called the Lincolnshire Handicap was first run over 2m at Lincoln in August, 1849. In 1853, a new fixture was staged at Lincoln in February and featured a race called the Lincoln Spring Handicap, run over 1m4f. The distance was reduced to a mile in 1855 and moved to a date in March.
In 1859, the two races merged to become the Lincolnshire Handicap, run over a mile in March and this race continued up until Lincoln's closure in 1964. In 1965 the race transferred to its current home of Doncaster and was renamed the Lincoln Handicap.
The ante post favourite in the Lincoln betting is the Godolphin-owned Auxerre at 7/2 with MoPlay. The drying ground at Doncaster will be in his favour and it could be that the four-year-old is well ahead of the handicapper.
Auxerre has had just four career starts, winning the last three, the last two being on the all-weather courses at Chelmsford and Kempton. His turf runs at Newmarket and Haydock were both on good to firm ground, so the mild weather and drying ground this week will certainly aid his cause. He holds a sound chance of giving his trainer Charlie Appleby a second win in the Lincoln and odds of 7/2 may look big come the weekend.
Thirsk-based trainer David Barron is no stranger to winning a valuable Yorkshire handicap and will be hoping that his five-year-old Kynren can bring home the spoils again, after last tasting success in this race with Amenable in 1991.
Two big runs in large field handicaps at York last season give the five-year-old every chance of being in the mix again here and odds of 8/1 with 888Sport represent great each-way value.
It’s been a long time between Lincoln buses for trainer David Elsworth too with his only winner coming back in 1983 - Mighty Fly -, but he has a great opportunity to bridge that gap with Ripp Orf.
The five-year-old more than earned his corn last season by landing two valuable handicaps at Ascot over 7f. Currently trading at 12/1 in 888Sport's Lincoln betting, the son of Rip Van Winkle is one of the more likelier candidates in this field and will attract plenty of each-way support.
David O’Meara’s Humbert (nap) has seriously caught my eye in the Lincoln betting. The five-year-old won four times on the all-weather for his previous trainer Hugo Palmer and, although he has yet to score on the turf, he has finished runner-up three times.
One of those runner-up spots came last season at this very meeting in the Spring Mile over C&D, and he followed that effort up by going down by just a neck in Newbury’s Spring Cup a month later. He is effective over a mile and has shown he can handle the hustle and bustle of a big field.
At odds of 12/1 with Karamba (backed down from 20/1) he looks a decent prospect for a trainer who won this race in 2017 and does particularly well with horses that are experiencing a totally new training regime.
Once considered an Epsom Derby hope, the Alan King-trained Beringer(nb) never quite made those heady heights, and instead will be plying his trade as a four-year-old in the handicap sphere this season.
His York form behind Wissahickon last season makes for impressive reading and King is excellnet at readying one for the big occasion. At odds of 20/1 with SportNation, I think this son of Sea The Stars looks a good tip in the Lincoln betting.
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