Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 14:33 26/03/2015
A maximum field of 22 are set to go to post for Saturday's Betway Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday and, as ever, the draw looks sure to play a crucial role over the straight mile at Town Moor. With the ground drying out all of the time and good going forecast for the weekend, conditions which usually suit those drawn high, anything in single-figures may prove to be at a disadvantage. Potentially bad news for supporters of the well-backed ante-post favourite Mange All who will have to defy his berth in stall 7 if he is to give trainer William Haggas a record-equalling fourth victory in the historic handicap.
With the three horses closest to Mange All in the betting, GM Hopkins ( 21 ), Zarwaan ( 18 ) and Gabrial's Kaka ( 22 ), all drawn close to the stand rail together with Boom And Bust who is likely to take that group along at a decent pace it may pay to concentrate on those strongly fancied runners, with the 13-2 available about John Gosden's four-year-old ( Betvictor and Betway ) very tempting about a horse who could well develop into a Group performer.
After taking his maiden at Nottingham with the minimum of fuss last April the son of Dubawi was not seen again until winning on his handicap debut at Sandown in September, following up two weeks later by landing the Silver Cambridgeshire at Newmarket with Mange All just under four lengths back in fourth spot. A 3lb pull in the weights may not be enough for that horse to turn the tables on this occasion, especially if Graham Lee's mount fails to overcome his low draw.
GM Hopkin's final two starts of the season failed to build on the promise of that win at headquarters but Robert Havlin's mount looks the type to prove a different proposition with that experience under his belt and should appreciate Saturday's better ground and is taken to provide his trainer with a second Lincoln following Expresso Star in 2009. The Richard Fahey-trained Gabrial's Kaka can improve upon his sixth place in last year's race but the chief danger may turn out to be the unexposed Zarwaan from the Ed Dunlop stable who, like the selection, has the potential to go on to much better things.
1 Point each-way GM Hopkins 13-2 ( Betvictor and Betway )