Big Race History: The Lincoln
Malcolm Pannett and Philip Alstead fill in the past history of The Lincoln which has its roots in a race first run in 1849.
The Lincoln, or Lincolnshire Handicap as it was known until the race moved to Doncaster in 1964, has been in existence since the middle of the 19th century.
A conglomeration of the two-mile Lincolnshire Handicap run in August, inaugurated in 1849 and won by Midia ridden by Barker who weighed in at 4st 11lb, and the mile-and-a-half Lincoln Spring Handicap, inaugurated in 1853. The race changed to the current distance of a mile in 1855 when Sausebox, who went on to win the St Leger, obliged at even money favourite - the shortest price in the history of the race.
The event was in danger of disappearing from the programme in 1874 until bookmakers had a whip round raising the then substantial purse of one thousand pounds. The bulk of the money went to the connections of Tomahawk who easily beat 34 rivals partnered by 17-year-old Fred Archer who at the end of the season would be crowned champion jockey for the first time.
The continuing return on the investment, as the race became established as an unpredictable cavalry charge, meant it was a grand well spent by the turf accountants particularly with the Lincoln's emerging link to the Grand National as the first leg of the Spring Double.
Jockey Dave Dick uniquely won a renewal of both races taking the Lincoln on Gloaming in 1941 and, fortuitously after Devon Loch's collapse, adding the Grand National on E.S.B. in 1956.
The record set for the greatest number of runners in any flat race, when 58 went to post for the 1948 renewal won by Commissar, is unlikely to be broken due to the maximum limits now imposed.
Notable winners include Ob (1906 and 1907) and Babur (1957 and 1958) who both won two years in a row; St Maclou (1902), who beat Sceptre who went on to win four classics that season; Buchanan (1881) an almost white horse who emerged ghostlike from a snow storm; Saving Mercy (1984) the last Irish-trained winner; Amenable (1991), ridden by Alex Greaves the only woman to be successful in the race; and the winners from 1926 to 1937 who are immortalized in the board game Totopoly made by the makers of Monopoly.
Lincoln racecourse, also known as the Carholme, closed after Levy Board funding was withdrawn. Shortly before its demise the Lincoln was transferred to Doncaster. The Lincoln was also run at Lingfield (1916) and Pontefract (1942-1944) during war time while Redcar (2006) and Newcastle (2007) stepped in during the recent redevelopment of Town Moor.
10 years ago - Richard Quinn timed his run on favourite Right Wing to perfection smoothly passing Captain Scott in the final fifty yards to win by half a length. Night Of Glass was a further length back in third with Raheen in fourth the only horse on the stands' side to finish in the first eight.
Five years ago - Philip Robinson emulated his father Peter, who had won in 1967 on Ben Novus when he partnered Babdona to victory. Robinson tracked the leaders before making his move two furlongs out. The 20-1 shot, trained by Mark Tompkins, stayed on well, under Philip Robinson, to hold the strong finish of Quito by three quarters of a length. Dark Charm and Wing Commander filled the frame providing a clean sweep for those drawn on the stands' side.
Last Year - With Doncaster back centre stage, after the previous year's renewal at Newcastle, the drama unfolded as Smokey Oakey, owned by Dame Judi Dench and Bryan Agar, came from last to first on the stands' side to lead inside the final furlong winning by a length and a half from 2006-winner Blythe Knight who led home the group on the far side.
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