2016 Lincoln Handicap: Draw, Pace and Trends Analysis…


It can’t be the flat season already? Surely not?! Seriously!!

No point in questioning it. The Lincoln field are set to gun it down the Donny straight at 2:45 on Saturday and I’ll deal with it the only way I know how; with some good old trends profiling.

Naturally I’m still in full NTF mode at present, I don’t make the switch to the flat side of the tracks until around Guineas time. However, as the jumps game is…eh…a little b*ll*cks at the minute (Cheltenham/Aintree limbo land is never the best of places!) I wanted to take a little delve into the flat stuff for the opening day of the 2016 season.

The Lincoln is a race that is prime for the post-race BDH methodology (horses running well from the wrong side of the draw) but it’s also a worthwhile race to tackle pre-race as well. Especially from a draw angle.

The 22 runners blitzing down the straight Donny mile won’t necessarily split into two groups but even within one large group there will be a pace bias and that can boost the chances of some, whilst inconveniencing others.

Here’s how I see the pace angle in this year’s renewal…

Lincoln Pace 2016

*Click on image to make larger

Strangely not a huge amount in the way of obvious pace-setters in this and it looks like BEACH BAR from stall nine will be the one to lead the field along.

That clearly puts the middle portion of the draw at an advantage as they will be able to aim at the pace Beach Bar is setting. On the wings there simply isn’t an obvious pace angle. FIRE SHIP (16), RENE MATHIS (17) & SECRET BRIEF (22) have at some stage in the past front run in their races so they do give hope for the high numbers whilst OCEAN TEMPEST (11) has also gone from the front previously.

A tentative pace conclusion would give a positive towards the middle portion of the draw, minor potential positive for the high numbers and a likely negative for those drawn in the lower portion of the draw.

Next I want to take a look at some race trends to help split the 22 runner field.

It’s not a race I go into with quite as much depth as usual on the trends front but here are the important angles to help us narrow the field…

p.s. I’m only looking at renewals run at Doncaster, I’ve not included the 2007 Newcastle or the 2006 Redcar versions.

16 of the last 17 winners were aged 4, 5 or 6

This age group provide the most winners and it’s a sensible area to concentrate our attentions on here.

Horses aged 7+ are 1/58 | 2% S/R

16 of the last 17 winners ran in a HANDICAP last time out

115 runners ran in a Non-Handicap contest last time out and only ONE has won.

14 of the last 17 winners were coming off a break of 125 days or more

Runners coming into the race fresh are 14/215 (7%) whilst runners coming in off a break of 124 days or less are 3/143 (2%).

Small margins when looking at overall qualifiers but ‘fresh runners’ are the percentage play in this race.

Applying those three trends leaves us with a shortlist of…







I want to trim that list down a bit further by using the following…

70 claiming jockeys have ridden in the last 17 renewals and only 1 has been victorious

An experienced jockey in the saddle seems to be a bonus in the rough and tumble of a Lincoln. That’s a potential negative for BIRDMAN  from the shortlist.

101 horses have run in the last 17 renewals having had 11 runs or more in the last year (365 days) and none have won.

Clearly you don’t want your horse to have been over-faced in the last 12 months and a harsh campaign the season before does seem to be a negative. That would be against RENE MATHIS on the shortlist.

That would then give us…

YOU’RE FIRED (stall 19)

MUTARAKEZ (Stall 15)


STORM ROCK (Stall 13)

Of those four I would have to conclude that YOU’RE FIRED marginally has the worst of the draw (pace can’t be guaranteed up high) and I’m not overly keen on backing him.

The other three all warrant some level of interest and are all currently available at double-figure odds.

MUTARAKEZ is the only one yet to race on Soft ground (the current going conditions) but I don’t see that being a problem and from limited evidence his sire’s progeny do seem to handle ground with cut underfoot. There is also a very real chance the 4yo is likely to prove better than a handicapper this season.

EXPRESS HIMSELF comes in off the back of a career best effort last time out, a race where he missed the break, wandered out of the stalls at leisure and then rattled home by a neck. He probably won’t get away with similar here but he does enjoy coming late off a fast pace and with a prime draw here (Stall 7 – pace in stall 9) the race could just fall for him.

STORM ROCK comes here still relatively unexposed and will certainly enjoy the soft conditions. He also looks to have a decent draw in the 13 box.

Best of luck if you are getting involved.

Ben (BDH)

*Stats sourced from the excellent Proform Professional database



  • rob

    Reply Reply April 3, 2016

    hi ben

    fair play for having a go at the lincoln on ground like that

    looking at your stats about recent runs,the field was pretty even i think with 10 recent runners and 12 having 125+ days off,with 1 horse off since 2013 so 10 v 11 if you exclude him.

    the first 3 home though were all recent runners though and it was a 14/17 stat in favour of rested horses

    i did notice that 2 of the 3 winners with a recent run came in 2011 and 2014 and now with this year,thats 3 from the last 6 years having a recent run.

    ironically if you switched it around (a recent run being positive) and kept the other stats ,then you would of got the winner with his high draw and the 2nd as well if you excluded the draw.

    i see that meyden,wolves and lingfield were the lto recent run culprits

    lingfields recent easter days finals which provided the 50-1 3rd here and 10-1 5th and it looks like a early easter had a influence this year,although meyden looks the course by recent trends to keep a eye on.

    i cant see anything familiar in the 3 recent winners of this who raced at meyden lto.

    they had a mixture of aw and turf runs and had raced between 2 and 6 times at meyden before running in this.all 3 didnt win there though in that period.

    3rd placed battle of marathon had meyden runs without winning and a easter lingfield run.

    • Ben

      Reply Reply April 3, 2016

      Hi Rob

      Yeah the deteriorating ground did ‘muddy’ things a tad.

      Very interesting points you make about the days since last run angle. For this renewal it may well have been that a recent run was an advantage due to the attritional ground and it was just too tough for the fresh horses to last out on the mud.

      Possibly worth lessening the emphasis put on the DSLR angle with 3 of the 6 winners having had a recent warm-up.

      Good research from yourself, like it.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

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