Preview and tips ahead of Saturday's Lincoln Handicap meeting at Doncaster

To the eyes of many horse racing fans and punters alike, the official start of the Flat season arrives on Saturday with the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster.
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To the eyes of many horse racing fans and punters alike, the official start of the Flat season arrives on Saturday with the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster.

After the long slog of the winter jumps season, spring and summer are on the horizon and that heralds the return of the speedsters and a bumper eight-race card is on offer at Doncaster on Saturday as the Flat returns.

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The feature race of the day - the Lincoln itself - is off at 3.35 and is one of a bumper card, with racing getting underway at a 1.20 and rounding off fours later at 5.20.

Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty ImagesPhoto by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The opener is the Listed Doncaster Mile Stakes and seven runners are set to head to post. Last year’s race winner Astral Beau is in contention once again for trainer Pam Sly but the nod here goes to Knight for the Crisford yard, a group three winner as a juvenile and a Listed second last season to the impressive Chindit.

Race two (1.50) is the Brocklesby Stakes over the 5f dash at Doncaster and the quick horses are to the fore here. Dominic Ffrench-Davis sends debutant Mystical Elegance to Doncaster having saddled the second in this race last year and fellow trainer Darryl Holland has a hand with Paddy’s Courage, with Holland having saddled a Brocklesby second two years ago.

The third race of the afternoon is the Spring Mile Handicap at 2.25 and 18 runners are set to tackle the 1m trip for what is a very open race. Perhaps best of the bunch is Harswell Duke, a course and distance winner previously and a recent sixth at Newcastle blew the cobwebs off. Dual purpose trainer Gary Moore sends Magic Memories on the long trip north from Sussex having shed his maiden tag at Brighton last October and following that with a fair third at Newmarket a month later.

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The midway point of the card is reached with race four - the Cammidge Trophy Stakes - at 3.00. Powerhouse trainer Willam Haggas sends Montassib for this one and he is closely matched up with Baradar for another prominent trainer in George Boughey, with it being tough to split the two when it comes to a selection. Baradar just takes the edge having been impressive at the St Leger meeting last year when winning a 6f handicap.

Race five is the feature race of the day - and the weekend - with the Lincoln at 3.35 with a whopping 22 runners heading to post to tackle the 1m distance. Last year’s runner up Awaal is back to go one better and is of huge interest as his mark is unchanged from 12 months ago. Irish Lincolnshire winner last Monday, Chazzesme, has been sent over and providing he can cope with the quick turnaround, is a major player.

Liberty Lane is the selection for the Lincoln however, who is taken to bounce back with a bang after a disappointing run in the Cambridgeshire last season but prior to that was superb on St Leger day, winning the 1m handicap from Sonny Liston.

Race six on the card (4.10) is a maiden stakes and it should go the way of Harper’s Ferry, who also holds an entry in the Derby for trainer Ed Walker, who almost defied his 50/1 odds on debut at Newmarket last year and even kore improvement is expected here.

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The penultimate rafe of the day is a 1m2f apprentice handicap and the selection is Bustaam, who is worth chancing for David O’Meara, running off a career low mark and having shown solid enough form in three runs at Newcastle.

Finally, the Doncaster card comes to a close with another apprentice handicap at 5.20 and the selection is for Destinado, a four-time winner on the all weather over the winter and a runner up at Southwell last week.

Preview compiled by Racing TV

Doncaster selections (via Grosvenor Sport)

1.20 - Knight

1.50 - Mystical Elegance

2.25 - Harswell Duke

3.00 - Baradar

3.35 - Liberty Lane

4.10 - Harper’s Ferry

4.45 - Bustaam

5.20 - Destinado