2017 Betway Lincoln Handicap: Draw/Pace and Trends Analysis…

Amazingly the flat season has rolled around already!?

I mean I’m still sore from the Cheltenham battle we all just indulged ourselves in! I was hoping for a bit more down-time to recharge the old grey cells!

No point in in trying to make sense of it though, it’s here and it’s ready to engage first gear, with the Lincoln field set to gun it down the Donny straight at 3:35 on Saturday, and I’ll deal with it the only way I know how; with some good old race trends profiling.

Naturally I’m still in full NTF mode at present (indeed I’m currently putting final preparations together for the NTF assault on the Aintree National meeting next week) as I don’t make the switch to the flat side of the tracks until around Newmarket Guineas time. However, as the jumps game is trudging through the horrible void that is the Cheltenham/Aintree limbo land I wanted to take a little deviation into the flat stuff for the opening day of the 2017 season.

For me it’s an excellent opportunity to get a ‘Trends sighter’ for the flat season that’s to come, a chance to waken the flat side of my brain in preparation for the flat analysis that takes up most of my summer.

The Lincoln is also 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 most likely 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…

Not a huge amount in the way of obvious pace-setters here, it has to be said. DOLPHIN VISTA (Stall 10) and ZHUI FENG (Stall 13) are the two most likely to try and set the early fractions and if that is how it turns out then there may just be a slight advantage to those drawn in the middle third of the draw.

On the flip side there probably won't be all that many dropping anchor out the back either and with the exception of OH THIS IS US & LUCY THE PAINTER there's a fair chance most of the field will be bunched up on the heels of whatever early pace there may be.

Overall I would conclude this is likely to only be run at an average pace with a tentative pace conclusion giving a minor positive towards the middle portion of the draw. That, however, is far from conclusive and I think the safest option is to keep an open mind on the pace angle on this occasion.

Next I want to take a look at some race trends to help us whittle out the pretenders and focus our attentions on the trends contenders in the 22 runner field.

I've made some subtle changes to my own Trends approach over the last couple of months, changes that have been fully endorsed by the NTF massive, and I'll be employing the same modified approach throughout this summer on the flat, starting, of course, with this here Lincoln.

Here are the important trends 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.

ALL of the last 12 winners (Doncaster renewals) fitted the following trends...

Aged 4yo, 5yo or 6yo

No more than 1lbs lower OR than last race

Previously won at least at C3 level but no higher than Listed level

Ran over at least 1m previously but no further than 1m6f

4-10 starts in last 12 months

2-25 previous Handicap starts

No more than 4 starts since placing

Jockey claim no higher than 3lbs

Ran over 7f - 1m2.5f last time out

DSLR 121-215 (UK starts only - races abroad not included)

Giving 12 year stats of...

12/47 | 26% S/R | +£116.33 LSP - Win & Place 18/47 | 38% S/R

Applying those stats to this years runners leaves us with...

DONNCHA (R Eddery)

OH THIS IS US (R Hannon Jnr)


Handily that gives us cover from all parts of the draw, with Oh This Is Us coming from stall 2, Dolphin Vista coming from stall 10 and Donncha coming from stall 21. In a race where it's not abundantly clear where the pace is to come from I'm more than happy to play all three trends qualifiers.

DONNCHA should be ready to fire first time up given that he has seasonal debut form figures of 2162, form figures that include a neck second over course and distance in last seasons Spring Mile. Spencer in the saddle for the first time is interesting, given that's he's only ridden for Eddery once in the past, but he does have a healthy 23% S/R in handicaps at Doncaster in the past couple of seasons (10/43).

OH THIS IS US looks like one with plenty more to offer as a 4yo this term and he rounded off last season with a win at the track over 7f. He also comes here defending an unbeaten 3 from 3 record in the April/May period and with two starts under his belt already this season at Meydan (where he ran like a step back up to 7f would be ideal) he should be more than forward enough for this assignment.

DOLPHIN VISTA is probably the one of the three shorlisters that needs to improve the most but there must be every chance of that happening with only 14 starts on his CV and having been gelded in the off season (poor lad!).

Best of luck if you are dipping your toes into the waters of the early season flat betting skirmishes...

Ben (BDH)

p.s. if you are looking to hook onto the full NTF service for Aintree Grand National week then the doors for that are open very soon...


  • Sean Austin

    Reply Reply April 1, 2017

    Clang! just hit the crossbar! Beaten just a neck by another Irish Dark horse – 2nd 3rd and 5th not too shabby from 22 runners. As a very happy member of your NTF massive still basking in the warm glow of the spud – with analysis like this I’m tempted to dip my toes in the murky waters of the flat. Looks like the new trends approach is still on fire.

    • Ben

      Reply Reply April 2, 2017

      Hi Sean

      Yeah the winner always had that potential-potential given some of the races he contested when with Aidan O’Brien, unfortunately for us O’Meara managed to unlock it first time up!

      Your more than welcome to take a wander over to the flat side for the summer, I’m sure the trend approach will suit your style just as well here as it does on NTF 🙂

      I’m very confident this modified trends approach is the way forward…

      Ben (BDH)

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