Horse Racing Tips

Lincoln Handicap: Timeform's expert verdict

The Lincoln is the feature race at Doncaster on Saturday

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide and 1-2-3 verdict for the Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday.

15:35 Doncaster, Saturday
Live on ITV4

1. Migration (David Menuisier/Paddy Bradley (3))

Very smart effort to defy top weight in this race on heavy ground a year ago, seeing off the reopposing Awaal. An even better performance will be needed off a 4 lb higher mark this time but can't be ruled out given how well he handles these conditions. Tongue tied first time.

2. Johan (Jack Channon/Silvestre de Sousa)

Won this under Silvestre de Sousa two years ago and landed another big handicap when proving too strong for The Gatekeeper in the Golden Mile at Glorious Goodwood on his 2023 reappearance. Fifth in Redcar listed event only subsequent start. Good record fresh makes him tough to discount.

3. Awaal (Simon & Ed Crisford/Harry Davies)

Smart performer who was placed in this (second to Migration), the Royal Hunt Cup and the Bunbury Cup last year. On the wrong side when well held in the Balmoral final start so it's easy to ignore that run. Back on the same mark as 12 months ago. Tongue tie added. Should go well.

4. Liberty Lane (Karl Burke/Clifford Lee)

Smart and improved performance back from an eight-week break when edging out Sonny Liston (pair clear) in a 15-runner handicap over course and distance (soft) on St Leger day. Might not have been over those exertions when down the field in the Cambridgeshire a fortnight later. Type to bounce back with a bang.

5. Thunder Ball (Paul & Oliver Cole/Alec Voikhansky (5))

Got off the mark in 7f Newbury novice last May and deservedly gained a second career win in 1m Goodwood handicap (soft) on final start in October. A 6 lb rise for that stylish success looks fair and he could have a big say on return to action.

6. The Gatekeeper (Charlie Johnston/Joe Fanning)

Rounded off a fine 2023 season with success in the valuable Balmoral handicap at Ascot (1m, soft) in October. Up to a triple-figure rating for the first time so will need to improve again if he's to land another big pot on his return.

7. Vetiver (Andrew Balding/David Probert)

Won three times last year, notably a 7f Carlisle listed event on soft ground in June. Showed she can mix it in good handicaps when two and a half lengths fifth of 20 to The Gatekeeper in Balmoral at Ascot (1m, soft) final outing. This is only her eighth start so may not have reached her limit yet.

8. Revich (Richard Spencer/Jason Hart)

Returned to winning ways when narrowly taking nine-runner handicap at Ayr (1m, good) in September. Below par on all-weather a month later and off since. Sixth is the best he's managed in three previous attempts in this race, however.

9. Blues Emperor (John Patrick Murtagh/Ben Martin Coen)

Winner of two 1m handicaps in Ireland last summer. Also excellent second of 20 in the Irish Cambridgeshire at the Curragh (1m, good) at the end of August. Ran poorly in a listed race final start but gone well fresh before and capable of bouncing back.

10. Chazzesmee (J. A. Stack/J. M. Sheridan)

Low-mileage six-year-old who improved again to justify strong market support in last Monday's Irish Lincoln at the Curragh (1m, heavy). Did that comfortably and a major player under a 5 lb penalty if coping with the quick turnaround.

11. Navagio (James Horton/Richard Kingscote)

Progressed into a useful performer in Ireland for Ray Cody last summer, winning 1m Limerick handicap and 9.5f Gowran conditions race. Not obviously well handicapped but worth a betting check now setting out for a new yard after a 47,000 guineas sale last autumn.

12. Lattam (Julie Camacho/Ryan Sexton)

Won the Irish Lincoln in the mud on his reappearance last year. Several other good efforts for William Haggas last season, notably a good win in a handicap at Newcastle, and he's an interesting new recruit for the Julie Camacho stable. Goes well fresh and will have no problem with ground.

13. Dutch Decoy (Charlie Johnston/Connor Beasley)

Five-time winner up to 1m in 2022 and went in on the July Course at Newmarket last summer. Plenty of creditable efforts in top-end handicaps later in 2023 but remains 3 lb above that last successful mark on reappearance.

14. Farhh To Shy (George Margarson/Benoit de la Sayette)

Useful mare who scored over 1m at Ascot (soft) and 7f at Yarmouth last summer. Ended her 2023 campaign with good thirds at Ascot (handicap/listed). Jockey Benoit de la Sayette is bidding to win this for the third time in the last four years.

15. Mr Professor (Dominic Ffrench Davis/David Egan)

Back to winning ways at Goodwood (9f, soft) in September. Respectable efforts on his final two starts at Hamilton and Chelmsford and ground conditions will be fine on this return to action. He's competitively handicapped and is of interest at a bigger price.

16. Chuzzlewit (Kevin Ryan/Shane Gray)

Reacted well to blinkers (retained) when seeing off five rivals at Newcastle (1m) 10 days ago but not an obvious one to follow up off effectively 6 lb higher back on turf.

17. Parlando (Ian Williams/Sean Dylan Bowen (5))

Useful sort who comes here on the back of a win in Bahrain last month. His debut success back in 2021 came on heavy ground but a 5 lb penalty for that recent win demands a big career best.

18. Hieronymus (George Baker/Aidan Keeley (3))

Has been in good form with two all-weather wins at Kempton this year but shouldered with a 5 lb penalty as a result of the latest one and likely to be up against it back on the grass.

19. One Night Thunder (Gemma Tutty/Laura Coughlan (3))

Lightly-raced winner who ran well in the mud at Newmarket when fourth on her yard debut in November. Well beaten at Newcastle a fortnight later and absent since. Others are more obvious.

20. Spirit Genie (Jennie Candlish/Kieran O'Neill)

Won easily dropped to selling company last autumn but showed he can be very competitive from his mark in handicaps when second on heavy at Newmarket (1m) in November. Below par on all-weather later that month and off since.

21. Bass Player (Non-runner)

22. Alpha Crucis (Gary Moore/Anna Gibson (7))

Won twice over 1m in the mud last year. Better than result when sixth of 14 in 1m Newmarket final start. Still relatively low mileage and another who can't be ruled out despite being 2 lb out of handicap.

Timeform's Analyst Verdict:

Liberty Lane was impressive over this C&D on soft at last year's St Leger meeting and this relatively lightly-raced 4-y-o appeals as one who could have more to come in 2024. Chazzesmee was a good winner of the Irish version of this race on Monday and a 5 lb penalty won't prevent him making a bold bid for a notable double if coping with the quick turnaround. Awaal was second in this off an identical mark last year and also makes the shortlist along with Thunder Ball.

Timeform's 1-2-3:

1. Liberty Lane
2. Chazzesmee
3. Awaal


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.