WILLIAM Haggas held the key to the Irish Lincoln last weekend – his sole representative Lattam delivered with Tag Heuer precision by Chris Hayes to get up and win by a short-head - and he could hold the key to the Pertemps Network Lincoln at Doncaster today.
He doesn’t make it easy this time, mind you, fielding two in a race that he has won four times, most recently with Addeybb in 2018, to take him level in the Lincoln record books with Jack Robinson, whose four Lincoln wins straddled the 19th and 20th centuries. If one of the William Haggas horses wins today, the trainer will be out on his own with five.
He has a big chance too. Al Mubhir is a worthy favourite. He has the talent and he has the profile, a progressive three-year-old last season who is making his debut today at four. The five Lincoln winners who rolled before Johan last year were all four-year-olds.
Winner of his only race at two, a backend-of-season Newmarket maiden, he was beaten in each of his first four races last season before he got off the mark in a handicap at Haydock in October on heavy ground.
He is 7lb higher now, but that is only 1lb higher than the mark he was awarded after he made his three-year-old debut at Goodwood last April. He could still be a well-handicapped horse, he stays a mile well, he has had a wind operation in the off-season, we know that he can go in the ground, his trainer’s horses are in great form – he has had four winners, including Lattam and counting Dubai Honour in a Group 1 race in Australia, from just seven runners in the last two weeks – and he has probably been targeted at the race for a while. The only real negative is his price.
Montassib is five, but he is a lightly-raced five-year-old, and he rounded off last season with a fine performance to finish second to Wanees on easy ground at Haydock.
He is obviously a player too, and he was raised by just 1lb for that Haydock run, which means that he will meet Wanees on 2lb better terms, but that may not be enough to allow him reverse placings with the Shadwell gelding.
Charlie Hills’ horse has a really nice profile as a Lincoln contender. Winner of two of his three races as a juvenile, he won the Esher Cup at Sandown on his debut last year, despite racing keenly in his first-time hood, and he didn’t run badly in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot in June, beaten just over three lengths in the end by the winner Thesis.
He was too keen next time over 10 furlongs at Glorious Goodwood but, gelded after that, he raced with just the right amount of enthusiasm on his final race last season at Haydock.
A 3lb hike for that was not harsh, he left the impression that he had more in hand than the bare winning margin, and the Lincoln was an obvious target for him after that. He handles all types of ground, he is two for two on ground softer than good, and we know that he can go well fresh.
The rain brings Baradar into it, and Majestic could go well, but Wanees is the bet.
Fast Response is the bet in the Cammidge Trophy. Karl Burke’s filly improved dramatically in the autumn last season when she got onto soft autumn ground. She won three of her last four races, improving from a mark of 85 to a mark of 103.
That still leaves her with a fair bit to find with the top horses here on ratings, and her listed race win erodes 3lb of her 5lb filly’s allowance, but she could be up to the challenge.
The soft ground is essential to her, and we know that she goes well at Doncaster, and on soft ground at Doncaster. She is two for two at Doncaster, and she saw out the sixth furlongs well on her latest run in the Listed Wentworth Stakes last November.
Asjad goes well at the track too, and on soft ground, and he is a big danger, but, at almost twice his odds, Fast Response represents better value.
Fast Response, 3.00 Doncaster, 9/1 (generally), 1 point win
Wanees, 3.35 Doncaster, 9/1 (generally), 1 point each-way