The Cheltenham Festival is over for another year. Boo hoo.
That also means that the jump racing season is coming to a close and the punters mindsight starts to switch as it does at this time of year every season.
With Aintree and Punchestown still to come it does feel a little odd having to change tact to the flat and start to think about stalls, John Gosden and trouble in running, but that’s the hand we’ve been dealt with the Lincoln Handicap on the horizon this Saturday as Doncaster opens the gates for the start of the British flat season.
This race is steeped in tradition and regularly gets the better of me.
Hopefully not this year though as I’ve been lining up a bulky each-way wager on Gabriel’s Kaka for a while now and thankfully the Richard Fahey-trained animal has taken his chance.
The five-year-old is always a player in lucrative handicaps due to his ability to handle big fields and travel strongly into contention.
He finished six in this very race last year before bolting in at Newbury in Spring Cup, where his performance never really got the credit it deserved as that race has worked out to be a very strong renewal looking back.
From there he chanced his arm in all the big handicaps like the Royal Hunt Cup and Cambridgeshire without much success but he ended the season with a fine effort in a good handicap at Ascot.
Under the ever frustrating Jamie Spencer, the selection won his race on his side of the track but finished seventh overall – that notified me to the fact that this horse is still well handicapped despite being off a mark of 101.
With him having previous form in this race, Fahey will have had this race in mind all winter and you can be guaranteed that he’ll be fully wound up and raring to go on his seasonal debut by a trainer that won the race in 2012 with Brae Hill.
There has been money around for Gabriel’s Kaka in the past few days but if you can get 10/1 or 12/1 you’ve still nicked yourself a bit of each-way value.
As with all renewals of this race there could be a potential group horse lurking in there somewhere and judging by the market Mange All is the sexy horse this time around.
However, I’m not convinced he’s got the mettle for a competitive handicap like the Lincoln and may just get out battled in a finish.
GM Hopkins looks a player without a doubt, having beat Mange All at Newmarket last year.
However, he’s a fragile sort, whose had his problems, and I’m put off by the 6/1 on offer.
What About Carlo is a horse that also should enter calculations, especially if the rain continues to fall on Town Moor.
He won first time out last year at Sandown and his trainer Eve Johnson Houghton has always thought he’s a Group horse in the making.
At 20/1 he may be a tad overpriced but Gabriel’s Kaka gets the nod.[divider type=”dashed” spacing=”10″]
Tip 3:35 Doncaster: Back Gabriel’s Kaka 12/1 (2pts EW)
[divider type=”dashed” spacing=”10″]
St Leger: A look at the numbers from the last 30 years
The St Leger Stakes will take place at Doncaster Racecourse on September 10. The fifth and final of Britain’s five...
Jim Crowley: “Alflaila could get the day off to the perfect start”
Coral ambassador Jim Crowley discusses his three rides on the final day of the Ebor Festival at York York 1.50...
Jim Crowley: “Unbelievable Baaeed gave me experience of a lifetime”
Coral ambassador Jim Crowley reflects on brilliant Baaeed and discusses his five rides on day three of the Ebor Festival...
Baaeed odds on for Ascot Champion Stakes after York Ebor Festival win
Baaeed made it a perfect ten at York Ebor Festival and is an odds-on shot to extend his stunning winning...
Unbeaten Baaeed seals superstar status with Juddmonte International domination
Baaeed dazzled on the Knavesmire to maintain his unbeaten record with a dominant display in the Juddmonte International Stakes at...
Juddmonte International pinstickers’ guide
Guide to the Juddmonte International runners Baaeed (William Haggas) 10 (out of 10) Currently rated the best horse in the...