The recent snow may have made things feel like winter, but spring is definitely in the air at Doncaster Racecourse.
The Lincoln, the traditional spring curtain-raiser to British racing’s flat season, takes place on Town Moor this Saturday and it looks as fiendishly competitive as ever.
The one-mile handicap, which is sponsored by 32Red and has a prize fund of £100,000, was landed in thrilling style last season by the David O’Meara-trained Bravery and O’Meara looks to have another live chance this year.
The Upper Hemsley-based trainer is renowned for getting his horses fit and firing early in the season and his 2018 Lincoln fancy is Lord Glitters.
The five-year-old son of Whipper was a multiple winner in his native France before being snapped up and transferred to O’Meara’s Yorkshire stable last September.
A second place and a win from two big-field Ascot handicaps at the back end of last season marked this one out as smart and he confirmed that promise with a close second in a Listed contest at Newmarket on his final run of 2017.
Kept off since and with ground conditions sure to suit, Lord Glitters could provide O’Meara with a quick-fire Lincoln repeat.
Others to note in the feature race include Big Country, Fire Brigade and the well-backed Addeybb.
Michael Appleby’s Big Country has primarily raced over further than this one-mile trip and could be a factor if conditions put a premium on staying power.
He proved his well-being with a recent win on the all-weather at Wolverhampton.
Fire Brigade was a steady improver last season for Michael Bell and soft ground would certainly see this one at his best. However, Fire Brigade has taken a couple of runs to get going in the last couple of seasons and there is a question over whether he will be fully tuned up for this test.
Addeybb represents trainer William Haggas, who knows all about training a Lincoln winner and has three victories in this race on his CV.
Addeybb’s profile is strikingly similar to that of Haggas’s 2010 winner Penitent, but this son of Pivotal may be seen to better effect once the ground firms up.
The Lincoln is the feature race on a seven-race card at Doncaster, with the first race off at 1.50pm.