These are the five key contenders for the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster

The Lincoln at Doncaster signals that flat racing is back – and a competitive field of milers head to post looking to land the spring showpiece.

From festivals to Flat racing, Doncaster’s two-day fixture this weekend marks the start of the turf season with Saturday’s Lincoln the feature race.

Strong cases can be made for the likes of Eastern World, Haqeeqy and Brenford Hope – all likely to be popular among punters.

Following a comfortable success in handicap company at Meydan last month, Eastern World is the 100-30 favourite to land the star-studded contest.

The Godolphin-owned four-year-old is a half-brother to multi-millionaire Thunder Snow and there could be much more improvement to come from this son of Dubawi.

He gets a 5lb penalty for winning in Dubai, but it may not anchor him – and it won’t be a surprise to see him flying much higher before the year is out, so he has an obvious chance of winning this.

Here, we take a look at his profile and some of the other market principles ahead of the Unibet Lincoln…

Charlie Appleby won this race in 2019 with Auxerre and he will be looking to do it again with ante-post favourite Eastern World.

The four-year-old had the perfect prep for this when landing a competitive handicap out in Meydan in February, and punters have really latched onto this Dubawi gelding who should get in off a nice low weight.

Godolphin-owned Eastern World is the favourite for the Unibet Lincoln Handicap

John Gosden is another man who knows how to prepare one for this and he looks to have a great chance of winning another Lincoln with Haqeeqy .

The four-year-old had a brilliant campaign in 2020 winning three of four races culminating in a course win in a handicap at Doncaster in September.

He still looks nicely treated and it would be no surprise to see him use the Lincoln as a launchpad for a lucrative 2021.

Haqeeqy bids to be a first big-race winner for father-and-son partnership John and Thady Godsden

One of the unluckiest handicappers in 2020 was King Ottokar .

Charlie Fellowes’ five-year-old ran with great credit in many of the top handicaps last year, but luck always seemed to conspire against him.

That was certainly the case in his final race of the season, when a high draw scuppered any chance he had in the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on Champions Day.

On a day when you had to be drawn low, King Ottokar was drawn in 22 and still ran with tremendous credit to finish sixth.

Trainer Charlie Fellows is expecting a big run from King Ottokar

Richard Hughes never won the Lincoln as a jockey, but he may well land one as a trainer with Brentford Hope.

The son of Camelot looked to have a promising Classic campaign in front of him when he won a Newmarket maiden back in October 2019.

Classic quotes were issued but Brentford Hope failed to back up his promise and had a poor start to the season.

He ended the season in good style winning a Haydock handicap which suggested that this sort of race might be more to his liking, he’s a fascinating runner.

Trainer Richard Hughes is ready to let stable star Brentford Hope do the talking on the track this summer

William Haggas will attempt to put himself in the record books by becoming the first trainer to win this race five times when he saddles Johan on Saturday.

The four-year-old has not raced since being beaten in a listed race at Kempton in November, won by Kinross, after which he was gelded.

Haggas said: “It’s unfortunate he’s got top weight, but that’s because he ran well on the all-weather at Chelmsford, although he didn’t run so well in the listed race.

“He’s got plenty of weight, so we’ll see – he’s ready to go.”

William Haggas could rely on Johan to give him an outright record of five winners in the Lincoln Handicap

What are the odds for the Unibet Lincoln?

10-3 Eastern World

7-2 Haqeeqy

8-1 River Nymph

7-1 Brentford Hope

8-1 King Ottokar

12-1 Danyah

16-1 Ascension

16-1 Brunch

* 20-1 bar. Odds correct at time of publication

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