JOHN Gosden, who won the William Hill Lincoln with Express Star in 2009, is responsible for the ante-post favourite in Saturday’s exciting renewal of the famous cavalry charge at Doncaster (3.05).
Taqleed, a lightly raced four-year-old, ran a creditable race when sixth in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket last autumn and is as short as 11-2 for the straight mile showpiece.
Penitent, who won the Lincoln 12 months ago for William Haggas, is as big as 20-1 with some bookmakers following a 13lb rise in the ratings. His prospects also depend on soft ground, which is far from guaranteed at Town Moor.
Haggas also has claims with the progressive Kalk Bay, however, but his official rating may not allow him to make the cut. He may contest the William Hill Spring Mile (2.05) instead, however.
Richard Fahey, who has gone close in recent seasons with the likes of Prime Exhibit and Benandonner, is potentially mob handed in his pursuit of the elusive prize. Irish Heartbeat, winner of last season’s consolation race, and Prime Exhibit, have both been working well in the build-up to the Flat Season’s first big race.
The latter, who was second last year, was a shade unlucky when third in the William Hill Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton earlier this month, behind another Lincoln contender Lowther. Nideeb, winner of Saturday’s Group Three Winter Derby on the All-Weather, is also among the entries.
Another highlight of Saturday’s big Flat Season curtain-raiser is the Listed William Hill-sponsored Cammidge Trophy (2.35), which could see the re-appearance of Iver Bridge Lad – a gallant second to one of the world’s top sprinters J J The Jet Plane in Dubai recently.
Racing also continues at Doncaster on Sunday, when the sprinters will be in action in the six-furlong William Hill Handicap (3.55). Former Ayr Gold Cup winner Jimmy Styles and course specialist Baby Strange are among the entries for an ultra-competitive race.
Racing on Saturday is due to commence at 2.05, with a 2.10 start scheduled on Sunday.
For tickets go to doncaster-racecourse.co.uk.