Timeform preview Saturday's Doncaster Mile and pick out a bet.
"...while Robin of Navan races mainly over longer trips, the drop back to a mile under conditions likely to put the emphasis on stamina could well suit this front runner..."
Timeform on Robin of Navan
Several horses hold entries in both the Lincoln and the Doncaster Mile at this stage, including the two Lincoln top-weights Crazy Horse and Lord Glitters. The betting suggests Lord Glitters, who won the Balmoral Handicap on British Champions' Day at Ascot last October, looks more likely to contest the Lincoln, though his future almost certainly lies in better company later on this season given the improvement he showed once joining David O'Meara last autumn.
Crazy Horse made only infrequent appearances for his former trainer John Gosden. He's capable of smart form and wouldn't be at all inconvenienced by testing ground, having won the Horris Hill Stakes at two in heavy going. Now with George Baker, an absence since disappointing at odds of 3/1 in this same race twelve months ago is the main worry with him.
Also lightly raced, Zabeel Prince would definitely be of interest here but could go for the bigger prize instead. He finished down the field behind Lord Glitters in the Balmoral, but won his three other races beforehand last season, showing smart form when beating Lord Glitters' stable-companion Bravery, last year's Lincoln winner, in a big-field handicap at York. Zabeel Prince is open to more improvement this season and his trainer Roger Varian won this race two years ago with Belardo who went on to win the Lockinge.
Likely favourite is Tabarrak representing Richard Hannon who won this last year with Kool Kompany. Tabarrak won twice in listed company last season, at Ascot and Newbury, gamely defying a penalty on the latter occasion. He's plenty short enough given he's penalised again here, and while conditions are likely to be softer than anything he encountered last season, he did win his maiden as a two-year-old on soft ground.
Race fitness is potentially an important factor at this time of year, so it may be best to concentrate on those with a more recent run. Born To Be Alive and Another Touch have been in action in Dubai, and while both need to improve on their most recent efforts, the latter faced a stiff task last time and has winning form over a mile on soft ground.
Intern was found a good opportunity closer to home by David Simcock in a novice event at Wolverhampton last time and took full advantage to hose up by thirteen lengths under Ryan Moore who is booked to ride him again here. This is a much tougher race for his return to turf, but he hasn't been beaten far in past attempts in listed or Group 3 company.
The most interesting entry, though, is Robin of Navan, who would be making a rare appearance in Britain. Harry Dunlop has mainly campaigned him in France where he won in Group 1 company as a two-year-old and came within a neck of landing another top prize there in the Prix d'Ispahan last May. This represents a drop in grade from the races he contested all last year, and while Robin of Navan races mainly over longer trips, the drop back to a mile under conditions likely to put the emphasis on stamina could well suit this front runner. A slowly-run four-runner race on the polytrack at Chantilly earlier this month, in which he finished third, wouldn't have suited, but it will almost certainly have served to tune him up for this contest.
Back Robin of Navan in the Doncaster Mile at Doncaster on Saturday