Turf Season Begins At Doncaster With The Lincoln Handicap

The Flat is back! Thankfully this season the Flat begins where it should back at Doncaster Town Moor with the Lincoln Handicap rather than last years damp squib of a start, with all due respect, at Musselburgh.

The first race of the Turf season is the Listed Betway Cammidge Trophy Stakes at 1.50. 4-y-o bay colt Birchwood trained by Richard Fahey has been aimed at this and William Buick was booked to ride nice and early. More than capable of winning this at his this best, he was asked some big questions last year in better races, and I am convinced he should be suited by drop to six furlongs. He has been jolly in the build-up and I have the 9-2 with Coral.

The Listed Betway Doncaster Mile Stakes is off at 3.00. Richard Fahey has Toscanini entered but the gelding, more use to five and six furlongs, was transferred to the yard in December by owners Godolphin from Michael Halford in Ireland as a pacesetter for Ribchester in his races later this season and I guess this is a test to see how he goes over eight furlongs. I was thinking of backing Bravo Zolo for this but he won’t be lining up. That leaves the way clear for Stablemate at the Godolphin yard of Charlie Appleby Cymric fresh from a couple of runs in Dubai, including a win in a handicap and a third place in the G.2 Zabeel Mile. The colt moved from the yard of John Gosden over the winter after a winless three-year-old campaign but was chasing home the likes of Lumiere and Galileo Gold so no disgrace in defeat. Beaten just a short-head in the G.1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at two it will be hoped by the boys in blue that he can get back to that kind of level. You can get 9-1 with Ladbrokes and I have that. Custom Cat is expected to run his race as usual but hasn’t won since September 2015 whilst two making their seasonal debuts that should be feared if fully wound up are Crazy Horse, if it comes up particularly soft, and Stormy Antarctic as the chestnut colt drops into calmer waters.

As touched on above the main event of the day is the Betway Lincoln due off at 3.35. Ante-post favourite Morando will miss the race after suffering a setback. Roger Varian's grey was a best-priced 5-1 chance for the feature event however the Kremlin House handler ruled out his charge shortly before declaration time. Sadly, as I really fancied him though hadn’t taken the plunge as there was no NRNB, the Martyn Meade trained Chelsea Lad, heavily backed during the week, failed to make the cut and won’t be here either so I am leaving the race alone now.

Here’s to a great season of flat racing and plenty of winners!

Be lucky