93 Horses Stood their ground at the six-day declaration stage for Saturday’s Betway Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster headed by dual Cambridgeshire winner Bronze Angel on 9st 11lb, one pound more than the John Ryan-trained Ocean Tempest who got the better of subsequent Group 2 winner Tullius in the race 12 months ago although the six-year-old son of Act One will be racing off an 8lb higher mark in a bid to become the first horse to win back-to-back renewals since Babur in 1957/58.
The William Haggas stable has provided the winner of the one mile contest on three occasions courtesy of High Low ( 1992 ), Very Wise ( 2007 ) and Penitent in 2010 and after withdrawing Dream Spirit at the latest forfeit stage is set to rely on his Mange All who has been the subject of sustained support over the last couple of weeks and is now no bigger than 6-1 (Skybet & Ladbrokes) to join 19th century trainer Jack Robinson as the only handler to win the historic handicap four times.
Those missing the cut for the race, which allows a maximum field of 22, will have the chance to compete in the consolation Betway Spring Mile on the same card, one of which is the appropriately named Lincoln ( needs 3 to defect to be guaranteed a run ) from the Mick Channon stable, of which the West Ilsley trainer told Betway “We’re very pleased with Lincoln, he’s been working well.
“All his work’s been solid and it certainly won’t be fitness that beats him. Obviously it’s his first time over a mile, on pedigree he should get it, but he does have a lot of speed. We could always go back to seven if the worst came to the worst. The ground doesn’t really matter, we just wouldn’t want anything too firm for him. Good ground would be fine.” The son of Clodovil was successful on his final two starts as a three-year-old last season including over the course in September and is currently available at 25-1 with most bookmakers.
Chief market rivals to Mange All are the John Gosden-trained GM Hopkins, a general 7-1 chance to provide his handler with a second Lincoln following Expresso Star in 2009, and Zarwaan (10-1 with Skybet & Ladbrokes) whose trainer Ed Dunlop will attempt to match his father John who saddled Right Wing to win the race in 1999.