It's Lincoln day at Doncaster, and Matt Gardner heads to Town Moor to tackles what is an incredibly difficult Placepot card...
"Jack’s Revenge finished fifth in the Lincoln last year off a 4 lb lower mark, arguably unlucky not to finish a bit closer after finding himself in an unpromising position..."
13:30 - A massive field of 18 newcomers go to post for the latest renewal of the Brocklesby and trying to narrow down the field is complete guesswork. The two factors to look for are yard and a speedy pedigree, so the obvious starting point is Richard Hannon's sole representative Flyball, a half-brother to 5-7 furlong winner Lucky Royale. Magic Florence, a half-sister to smart sprinter Hamza and out of a half-sister to the very smart Dandy Man, was the most costly of these, fetching £56,000 at the sales, whilst Mountain Man represents Michael Easterby, who won this two years ago, and is bred to make a pretty sharp juvenile.
14:05 - Fencing was better than ever when making a winning reappearance last year but his two subsequent efforts were lacklustre, and it's probably best to take him on with Guest Of Honour and Graphic. The first mentioned has rapidly progressed into a smart performer and is more than capable of making his mark at this level, whilst Graphic has form with plenty of cut in the ground and could be advantaged should this turn into a tactical affair.
14:40 - Jack Dexter enjoyed a most productive 2013, taking this race on his return, a Group 3 at Newcastle and then a listed race over C&D on his final outing. He also finished second in the Champions Sprint at Ascot and, though he's forced to carry a penalty here, he excels in these conditions and seems sure to run well. It's also worth including Heaven's Guest, another who had a fruitful 2013 with four successes. It seems likely that trainer Richard Fahey will have him spot on for this first run of the year, and he could surprise a few.
15:15 - The Spring Mile, or the Lincoln consolation race, features a big field but it's actually fairly easy to put a line through quite a few of them. The first selection is Dance And Dance, who is a frustrating performer but almost certainly has a race like this in him having slipped to an attractive mark, and is just the type to benefit from this big field. Following him into the permutation is Farlow, who ran well enough in some decent races last year, acts with cut in the ground and is well worth a go at this trip.
15:50 - Jack's Revenge finished fifth in the Lincoln last year off a 4 lb lower mark, arguably unlucky not to finish a bit closer after finding himself in an unpromising position three furlongs from home, forced to weave his way through the field from that point. He's versatile with regards to ground and seems sure to be involved again. The second selection in this ultra-competitive handicap is One Word More, who boasts some strong juvenile form, ran a cracker over seven furlongs here in September and hails from a yard that tend to get them ready at the first time of asking.
16:25 - Plenty of these are open to improvement, arguably none more so than the Richard Hannon-trained Hymenaios, an imposing colt who made a promising start in maidens at Haydock and Goodwood last year. His physique suggests that he's very much the type to do better over middle distances this year, and he is expected to prove that theory.
13:30 - 7, 11, 17
14:05 - 5, 6
14:40 - 1, 6
15:15 - 8, 17
15:50 - 10, 18
16:25 - 6
= 48 lines