As the new flat season kicks off tomorrow the logical place to begin tonight’s preview is with the Lincoln handicap which is the Doncaster 3.55. My long tern fancies for this, the first big handicap of the new season have been Charm School and Expresso Star, both trained by the in form John Gosden. I will stay faithful to those two although Expresso Star is not certain to run as he needs soft ground. The other one I would consider is Benandonner. He is potentially well drawn, acts of the track, is a distance winner and come from a stable that is in good heart.
Ex Southampton footballer Mick Channon has a few horses with names that are connected with the Hampshire town. He saddles Archer’s Road who takes his name from a street that was adjacent to the old Dell, in the Brocklesby at 2.10. This one has possibilities as does Could It Be Magic who comes from a stable that traditionally does well in this sort of race.
Michael Dods saddles a couple of horses in the 2.45, The Osteopath and Osteopathic Remedy, both believe it or not owned by an Osteopath! They both have each way chances but for my selection, again each way, I will take a chance with Jim Goldie’s Nanton who was runner up in the Cambridgeshire last season and has since dead heated for first place at Wolverhampton.
In the 3.20 my twp against the field are Inxile and Against the Grain, although the latter will only run if there is sufficient rain.
Classically, who runs in the 4.30 is a half brother to the 1,000 Guineas winner Speciosa. He made significant late progress when finishing 2nd in a back end maiden at Newbury last season on his only start as a juvenile. He is one of my fancies in this race while I also like London Bridge who showed promise when runner up in the other division of that Newbury maiden.
Surprise Pension last ran on the flat when 2nd at Catterick. He has since won over hurdles and may be on a handy mark. At around 8/1 he look value in the 5.40.
Lingfield stage a good jumps meeting. The card gets under way with a “national hunt” hurdle at 2.15 where I have a short list of 3. Tanks for That is lightly raced and had his well regarded stable companion Ravello Bay back in 3rd when winning last time out at Sandown. Schindler’s Son, a winner at Uttoxeter in May, was 8th in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock subsequently and merits respect. Kangaroo Court was well beaten in the Supreme Novice at the festival but had decent form before that. Kangaroo Court may well start favourite here but Tanks for That is a potential improver and gets the selection.
In the 4.00 Lodge Lane is a horse I have always liked and I would normally support him but he has been pulled up on his last two starts and wears first time blinkers. I am a bit reluctant to take a short price about him in the circumstances. Quickbeam would be a possible alternative. He is not without risks as his jumping can be chancy buy he has completed on his last 4 starts and at 11/2 is perhaps better value than Lodge Lane.
The 4.35 sees the return to action of former Arkle and World Hurdle winner My Way de Solzen. He would probably have too many guns for his opponents here if back to his best but he has been well below par for a while now and I prefer the progressive Miss Mitch who beat Something Wells at Ascot on her last start and the runner up has franked the form since by winning at Cheltenham. Another to consider in this race at a bigger price would be the lightly raced Money Order who showed a lot of promise before encountering injury problems.
My selections at Uttoxeter are Putney Bridge (3.10) and Openditch (4.20).
Today’s pictures are by kind permission of the artist Jo Stockdale (see links).