With two big-field handicaps and some blind prodding in the Brocklesby, the first Placepot of the Flat turf season will also be one of the toughest.
"We prefer Gm Hopkins to Mange All in the Lincoln, the latter’s form just not having the same depth or strength to it."
13:25 - We can only really come to the same conclusion as the market in the Brocklesby, which mercifully has a smaller field than usual. Just That Lord comes from a yard with such a good record in the race, while First Bombardment has the most going for him in the medium-term.
14:00 - Given what else awaits us on this card, we should see a race like the Doncaster Mile as an oasis. Tullius is a Group 1 horse, the rest aren't. He's a banker.
14:35 - Jack Dexter has book-ended his last two seasons at this meeting and the November Handicap card, with a fair degree of success, too, so we can have faith in him being thereabouts for a third straight reappearance in this race. Aetna is an up-and-comer, successful over Jack Dexter on the last day of the 2014 turf season, so gets the nod on just her second start out of handicaps.
15:10 - Certificate is difficult to leave out in the Spring Mile, his profile suggesting he could be in the Lincoln or Doncaster Mile this time next year. Halation has the benefit of a few recent runs and shaped well at Wolverhampton a few weeks back, while final selection Donny Rover comes from a yard that are going typically well on the all-weather, so we can be confident on his fitness.
15:45 - We prefer Gm Hopkins to Mange All in the Lincoln, the latter's form just not having the same depth or strength to it. Similarly, Gabrial is preferred to the slightly shorter-priced Gabrial's Kaka, the selection having the right make-up for a race like this. So as not to ignore the low-numbered draws, we'll also include Belgian Bill, who is fit from a spell in Dubai and had been consistent over there.
16:20 - We loosened up a little for the Spring Mile and Lincoln with the promise of an easy path through the last. We hopefully have that in King of Normandy, who starts his three-year-old season as something of a false maiden, having form in the book (including a third-placed finish in the Horris Hill) that puts him well above the standard of even a big-track, Saturday maiden winner.
13:25 - 1, 3
14:00 - 5
14:35 - 6, 8
15:10 - 3, 7, 15
15:45 - 6, 12, 14
16:20 - 4
= 36 lines