‘The investment has worked’ – Doncaster delighted as prize-money increase coincides with Lincoln boost.
69 horses have been confirmed for Saturday’s heritage handicap because of Doncaster’s investment in the Lincoln.
At the five-day stage last year, there were only 42 confirmations, down from 64 in 2021 and 91 in 2017. However, the race is worth £150,000 this year, up from £100,000, and connections appear to have noticed.
This year, the Lincoln’s consolation race is expected to draw a significantly larger field on the first day of the Flat turf season than it did last year, despite the fact that only nine horses were declared for the Spring Mile—one of which was a non-runner.
Doncaster clerk of the course Paul Barker said: “We’re delighted with the turnout – obviously the increase in prize-money for that race and the Spring Mile has helped. It’s nice to see so many horses standing their ground and we’ll look forward to seeing how many stay in on Thursday.
“After the increase to the prize fund, the Spring Mile is worth only £25,000 less than last year’s Lincoln. The investment has worked for us and we’re more than happy with where we stand. The whole card looks very good and we’ve had increased numbers in the Brocklesby too, so I’m really pleased.”
One of the 69 confirmations was the ante-post favorite Al Mubhir, whose Irish Lincolnshire-winning trainer William Haggas is hoping for a famous double to kick off the new Flat season. However, Majestic’s connections will need a little luck because the five-year-old is number 27 in a race with a maximum field of 22 and is a 10-1 shot. Glorious furnished Mick Channon with his last huge race victor when he won the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket in September and his child Jack is trusting he could be a springboard to a fruitful mission.
After a successful winter campaign at Meydan with Dubai World Cup runner-up Algiers, Simon and Ed Crisford will be looking to Awaal to kick off their British season in style. In 2022, they had their best season together.
On his final run of the year, the four-year-old easily won a Redcar handicap, winning two of his four starts in his debut season. Given that his Redcar victory came on heavy ground, his connections will be pleased by a wet forecast since he has been gelded over the winter.
Baradar is another prominent figure in the ante-post market for a stable that was another to enjoy a productive winter in the Middle East with Al Dasim. He won his debut for George Boughey in November over seven furlongs at Doncaster.
The Lincoln that was held the previous year was run on good to soft ground, but Barker anticipates heavy rain throughout the week.
“We are currently soft, good to soft in places after a nice dry day,” he said. “It’ll probably be that way tomorrow morning before the showers start midday, and that’ll be with us most of the time until Sunday. If we go down the middle range of the expected rain, it’ll be soft ground on Saturday, potentially heavy in places.”