Inside today’s main piece you’ll find my thoughts on the best of Friday’s action. Plus, I have an ante post selection for the Lincoln Handicap.
I don’t often talk about the flat turf season as early as February. However, its less than two months until the start of the new flat season and yesterday it was announced that The Lincoln Handicap the first big race of the new season has seen its price fund increased from £100,000 to £150,000.
Prize money for the consolation race (Silver Mile) has also been boosted from £45,000 to £75,000. The increased prize money means the annual flat curtain raiser has seen a record entry of runners.
Get All of John's Selections
When you Trial his Victor Value service
Just £7 for 14 Days
Click Here for Immediate Access
It’s a long way out still and I can’t remember the last time I went for one ante post for the Lincoln Handicap. However, this year there’s one I like.
Trainer John Quinn saddled Levitate to win the Lincoln and I think he’s got another potential winner. in Empirestateofmind. Like Levitate he’s a 5-year-old. He’s ground versatile having won on good and soft ground and all his five career wins have come over a mile.
Even more relevant is his record in big fields strongly run handicaps with his form figures in field sizes 16+ are 4122. He ended last season finishing 2nd of 16 over C&D and a 1 length 2nd of 20 to Substantial at York in October. Has a 4lb rise in the weights to contend with but I can seem him going close in a race like this.
I have managed to get 40/1 each way. That’s mostly gone but Sky Bet, paying five places, were still 40s on Wednesday evening. William Hill seem to like his chance too, as he’s as short as 14/1 with them. There’s plenty of 25s about and anything above 20/1 looks good to me.
As ever with ante post betting you must hope that this is target but I fancy that it will be as he finished a close-up third in last year’s Silver Mile.
Ante Post Advice:
Lincoln Handicap – Empirestateofmind – 40/1 @ Sky Bet (paying 5 places).
There are jumps cards at Chepstow and Catterick this afternoon. Plus, three all-weather fixtures at Lingfield and this evening at Newcastle & Dundalk.
Given the quality on offer over the next couple of days we must settle for some moderate action today. The best of the action isn’t in Britain or Ireland though it’s over in Dubai where its another Carnival fixture at Meydan.
Plenty on the shortlist but how many I will actually bet, I’m not sure yet.
Here are few pointers for the Chepstow card.
1:30 – We haven’t seen Hoe Joly Smoke since he finished a 3 ¼ length 2nd of 14 in maiden hurdle here (2m 3 ½ f) in October. There was plenty of encouragement to be taken from hurdles debut. And but for a poor jump at the last could well have won that day.
2:00 – Hipop Des Ongrais left his chase debut performance well behind when beating five rivals at Fontwell (good) in December. The 6-year-old is up 8lb but he’s capable of better over fences.
3:00 – Monbeg Genius and Raddon Top both head here on the back of wins last month. The first named is now 2-3 over fences and 5lb rise in the weights for winning over C&D probably underestimates the 7-year-old who looks capable of more improvement.
4:05 – The refitting of the tongue tie suited Santos Blue who made a winning handicap hurdle debut at Wetherby over Christmas. He's up 7lb here but there should be more progress in the 6-year-old.
4:05 – Santos Blue – 5/1 @ Bet365.
Good luck with your Friday bets.
Hi John well done today very impressive bound to go up 7 for that
brilliant tipping Santos Blue romped home thank you