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2012 Lincoln winner Brae Hill aims to bridge 45-year gap
A course inspection and 21 rivals stand between Brae Hill and a history-making feat at Doncaster tomorrow.
It is more than half a century since a horse won back-to-back runnings of the historic Lincoln Handicap.
But the gelding, who prevailed by a whisker 12 months ago, has an outstanding chance of producing an encore in the William Hill-sponsored showpiece on behalf of Malton trainer Richard Fahey and jockey Tony Hamilton, provided the forecast snow does not intervene.
A horse who revels in big field handicaps, Brae Hill, a former winner of the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket, finished second to Sweet Lightning in the 2011 Lincoln before his slender win last year from Mull Of Killough.
He now stands on the threshold of becoming the first successive winner of the race since another North Yorkshire horse – Babur, trained by Capt Charles Elsey at Highfield, Norton – won in 1957 and 1958.
It is not going to be easy. The maximum field for this famous one mile dash is pitted with dangers.
Two of them are his own stable-mates, Majestic Myles and Justonefortheroad, while Brian Ellison’s booking of Kieren Fallon for the useful Global Village, David O’Meara’s new Irish recruit Hit The Jackpot, the mud-loving Captain Bertie, and Paul Hanagan’s mount Eshtibaak are among a short-list of those which command respect.
Brae Hill, though, is expected to be firmly in the mix. Who knows, he might just be able to win it again – and create a little piece of racing history.
The William Hill Spring Mile, for those horses which fail to make the cut in the Lincoln, looks equally trappy and wide open.
Hanagan’s booking for his old boss Fahey on new recruit Garde Cotiere looks an interesting one, but the vote goes to John Jenkins’ Myboyalfie, who goes well on the soft and is reported by his trainer to be well forward for this initial test. He should start at a decent price and is awarded a sporting nap vote.
In the William Hill Cammidge Trophy, Jack Dexter, who improved out of all recognition last year for Jim Goldie, can gain Listed-race honours under Graham Lee, while Jamaican Bolt is one of many to consider in the ultra-competitive William Hill Handicap over six furlongs.
Trained by the in-form Geoff Oldroyd, Jamaican Bolt goes well on soft ground and developed into a useful sprinter last year.
The Welsh Wizard, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, is entitled to go well in the opening maiden, after his encouraging debut effort on the Polytrack, while Patriotic, who goes for the YESSS Electrical Apprentice Handicap, has the advantage of being fit from the all-weather and also a much more favourable turf rating.
Today’s main jumping card is at Newbury, where Kellys Brow, winner of his last three completed starts, has good prospects in the feature race.
2.10 Pay The King, 2.40 Frontier Spirit, 3.15 Prime Location, 3.50 African Broadway, 4.25 Kellys Brow, 5.00 Nicto de Beauchene, 5.30 Union de Chenet. Inspection 8am.
Today’s other meetings: Doncaster (inspection 8am), Sedgefield (inspection 8am) and Wolverhampton.
1.30 The Welsh Wizard, 2.05 Jamaican Bolt, 2.40 Myboyalfie (NAP), 3.15 Jack Dexter, 3.50 Brae Hill, 4.25 Tres Coronas, 4.55 Canary Wharf, 5.30 Patriotic.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Bangor, Kelso, Newbury and Stratford.