Doncaster Racecourse lands new sponsor for the Lincoln - plus: Saturday racing preview

The  Lincoln meeting at Doncaster Racecourse is the traditional opening of the flat season.  Phot: Nigel French/PA Wire.

The Lincoln meeting at Doncaster Racecourse is the traditional opening of the flat season. Phot: Nigel French/PA Wire.

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Leading international online betting and casino company Betway is the new sponsor of the £100,000 famous Lincoln Heritage Handicap at Doncaster which marks the official start to the 2015 Flat Racing Season.

The sponsorship will be in place for the next three years.

The sponsorship will be in place for the next three years.

Kieran Gallagher, Executive Director at Doncaster Racecourse said, “We are thrilled that Betway have entered into headline sponsorship for the prestigious Lincoln meeting.

“We are delighted to welcome them as a new sponsorship partner to Doncaster Racecourse and look forward to building a fruitful and lasting relationship”.

Alan Algar, Sporting Events & Media Relations Manager at Betway, said: “Betway wants to continue to invest heavily in UK racing and are thrilled to be visiting some of the country’s finest courses over the season for a number of the calendar’s most historic contests.”

The Betway Lincoln will be run on Saturday March 28. Historically it has attracted a maximum field (up to 22 runners) with many very exciting prospects creating an excellent betting market in a hugely competitive line up.

The Lincoln draw for starting stall positions used to be considered crucial, but is arguably less important these days due to the extensive work carried out on Doncaster’s track a few years ago.

The draw is widely publicised and takes place live on At The Races creating excitement in the build up to the contest. Although for historic reasons, some stalls are believed to be lucky, it is now generally considered a level playing field by trainers and jockeys bidding to get a good position in the early stages of the mile straight.

The Lincoln forms part of the renowned ‘Spring Double’ bet, with the Grand National just two weeks later.

* Junction Fourteen can provide Andover trainer Emma Lavelle with a nice Saturday prize at Sandown.

Fortune has not quite been on Lavelle’s side in big races this term, with the exploits of nearly-horse Shotgun Paddy a case in point.

But all that could change if Junction Fourteen does what is expected of him in the Betfred Mobile Heroes Handicap Hurdle.

Sparingly campaigned, yet potentially exciting, it is highly probable racegoers have yet to see the six-year-old at full tilt.

To that end, there is every chance he could prove some way better than a mark of 137 might suggest.

Junction Fourteen was, intriguingly, furiously supported in a qualifying round for the Pertemps Network Final at Cheltenham in October, but he was always well held that day on what was his seasonal debut.

He showed much more vim at Newbury a month later, though, when he got to within four and a half lengths of the well-handicapped Tullyesker Hill in another Pertemps qualifier.

His run at Wincanton on Boxing Day was also a sizeable leap in the right direction as he claimed fourth spot behind Batavir.

Indeed, Lavelle’s inmate would have got much closer to the winner that day had he not made a pig’s ear of the third-last flight, from which point he was always chasing the game.

That was still a good effort, however, and served notice this trip of two and three-quarters of a mile is the way forward.

Versatile in terms of whatever the ground is like and left untouched by the assessor, Junction Fourteen is one of the most unexposed horses in the line-up for this Grade Three.

Just as important, perhaps, is the fact Aidan Coleman, who has been a reliable go-to guy for the big occasion this season, keeps the partnership intact.

Selections -

Ffos Las: 12.55 Curious Carlos, 1.30 De Faoithesdream, 2.05 Lyvius, 2.40 Gas Line Boy, 3.10 Lac Sacre, 3.45 Filatore, 4.20 O O Seven.

Sandown: 12.40 Iniesta, 1.15 Local Hero, 1.50 Ulck Du Lin, 2.25 Irish Saint, 3.00 JUNCTION FOURTEEN (NAP), 3.35 Theatrical Star, 4.10 Monbeg Theatre.

Wetherby: 1.00 Miss Sophierose, 1.35 Kylemore Lough, 2.10 Firth Of The Clyde, 2.45 Heronshaw, 3.20 Return Spring, 3.55 Palypso De Creek, 4.30 Shotofwine.

Lingfield: 1.10 Dukes Meadow, 1.45 Souk Al Tahab, 2.20 Gabrial’s Wawa, 2.55 Brigliadoro, 3.30 Gold Trail, 4.05 Major Muscari.

Double: Junction Fourteen and Irish Saint.