Wednesday 17 January 2018

Bertie backed to keep up Hills family tradition

CONFIDENCE is growing in the Captain Bertie camp ahead of today's re-arranged Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster.

Charlie Hills believes he has an excellent chance of upholding family honour with William Carson's mount, which has been all the rage this week.

It is 45 years since his father, Barry, landed a colossal punt in the Lincoln with Frankincense when he was assistant to John Oxley, with the winnings giving him the funds to launch his training career.

Hills won the Lincoln in his own right with Pablo in 2003 before his retirement and now could be the time for his son to add his name to the race's roll of honour.

"Captain Bertie is ready to go and I'm very pleased with him at home," said the Lambourn trainer.

"The ground shouldn't be too much of a problem and the draw (stall seven) looks good. We know our horse goes well fresh and his work has been good."

Captain Bertie's main market rivals are the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned and John Gosden-trained pair of Lahaag and Eshtibaak. The owner's retained jockey Paul Hanagan plumped for the latter last week, but will be in action at the Dubai World Cup meeting in Meydan, leaving Dane O'Neill to take his mount.

Over the jumps at Haydock, Cedre Bleu is an interesting contender as he returns to action in the two-and-half-mile handicap chase after his final fence fall at Chepstow in January.

Paul Nicholls is sure to have done plenty of schooling work and Cedre Bleu has been given plenty of time to get over his tumble.

The progressive Rudemeister is the choice in Carlisle's featured handicap chase, while Shangani can strike at Newton Abbot for the in-form combination of Venetia Williams and Liam Treadwell.

Irish Independent

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