ITV Racing Tips: Modern News to give Godolphin another Lincoln headline
The Flat is back. Turf racing returns with its traditional curtain-raiser at Doncaster where the Lincoln Handicap is the feature.
ITV has found room in the schedule for nine races which while focussing on Doncaster, has a mixture of everything with racing from Kempton on the all-weather and over jumps at Kelso.
The first two-year-old of the race of the year, the Brocklesby Stakes, starts the show which also features two Listed races and the Spring Mile, the Lincoln consolation prize.
There will be five races from Doncaster, two from Kempton and two from Kelso. Coverage begins on ITV from 13:00, and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.
Charlie Hills captured this race 12 months ago and returns with another strong candidate in Garrus. Fitness has to be taken on trust and if ready then Garrus is the clear best contender.
He ran at Group 1 level three times last season and was not disgraced in any, beaten under four lengths in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup. He also won a Group 3 in France and ought to be too strong for opposition led by Diligent Harry.
Felix was in Dubai this time last year where he finished third behind Lord North in the Group 1 Dubai Turf. He was there last month running well again at the top level but is missing Dubai World Cup night to run in a lower grade at Kempton.
He is equally at home on polytrack and is a previous course and distance winner. Only Fancy Man has a higher rating, but the Richard Hannon challenger has to concede 3lb to Felix, which should be enough to see the Marco Botti challenger home in front.
With 22 going to post this ought to be a wide-open handicap but on recent evidence fancied horses tend to prevail.
Seven of the last nine runs have been won by the favourite or joint favourite and the other winners were both 4/1 shots. On that evidence this could be between the unbeaten Mujtaba and Godolphin’s Modern News.
Both stables, William Haggas and Charlie Appleby, have excellent Lincoln records. Haggas won the race with Addeybb so there is every chance there is a future Group horse lurking within the field.
Mujtaba won all three starts last year, as did Godolphin’s Modern News. However Modern News should boast superior race fitness having finished a running-on third over seven furlongs in a Meydan Listed race in preparation for the Lincoln.
Appleby has booked the up-and-coming apprentice Harry Davies whose 7lb allowance can be decisive. Haggas may have to settle for one of the places for which his other challenger Irish Admiral offers decent each-way value.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday 26th March
13:15 Doncaster – Brocklesby Stakes
13:35 Kelso – 2m4f Handicap Chase
13:50 Doncaster – Cammidge Trophy
14:05 Kempton – Magnolia Stakes
14:25 Doncaster – Spring Mile
14:40 Kempton – Queen’s Prize
15:00 Doncaster – Doncaster Mile
15:15 Kelso – 2m Mares Novices’ Handicap Chase
15:35 Doncaster – Lincoln Handicap
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing