Weight of evidence suggests Kaka will score for Fahey
THE turnstiles stopped revolving at Lincoln Racecourse five decades ago but the old grandstand, which is 117 years old, still survives and the listed structure now acts as a ghostly monument to racing days long gone.
Something else that has survived, albeit in a different guise, is the Lincoln Handicap, which has been run at Doncaster since Lincoln Racecourse closed down in 1965.
Today's feature race (3.50) looks competitive but I reckon the market has called this one right and Gabrial's Kaka is a worthy favourite this afternoon at 7/1.
Carrying 8st 10lb off a mark of 95, I've a strong feeling this one is unexposed and I suspect the handicapper will be handing out more lead to the four-year-old as the season progresses.
Richard Fahey, who also saddles up Hi There (25/1), has trained Gabrial's Kaka with the Lincoln in mind, and the Malton-based handler has said that the favourite has got the right type of profile to win this race as he's still improving and is in excellent shape at home.
The Dr Marwan Koukash-owned gelding beat stablemate Manchestar in a useful handicap at Pontefract back in August and was arguably even more impressive when second behind Seek Again in his latest race at York.
Seek Again has since gone on to win the Grade One Hollywood Derby so Gabrial's Kaka could be a good deal better than his mark suggests, and the mile trip will be right up his street.
Andrew Balding's Tullius (8/1) is another one with claims. The six-year-old had a great season in 2012, winning four races from five starts; although following an injury, things didn't go quite so smoothly last term and his rating of 109 might be a little high.
Having said that, the highly regarded apprentice Oisín Murphy has been booked to ride and the Killarney native, who has been instructed to come late, will claim a valuable 3lb.
Earlier at the same venue, the Marco Botti-trained Guest of Honour can get back to winning ways in the Listed William Hill In The App Store Doncaster Mile Stakes (2.05).
Often seen in Group company, the selection stayed on the bridle most of the way when beating the 8/11 shot Montiridge at Windsor last term, and that form was franked when Montiridge went on to win the Group Three Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood.
On paper, Guest of Honour's latest race at Newmarket in September is a worry (last of seven horses in a Group Two) but if you watch the replay, you will see that he simply wasn't right on the day and jockey Martin Harley eased off when it became clear that a challenge wasn't forthcoming.
On official figures, he's got 2lb to make up with market leader Fencing (John Gosden), although I have my suspicions about Fencing's mark and he failed to live up to expectations in his two races since winning a Listed contest at Ascot last May.
FOUR-YEAR-OLDS have a good record in the Spring Mile (3.15 Doncaster) and it's no surprise to see Ed Dunlop's colt Gworn at the top of the market at 7/1 following a career best when winning a competitive handicap at Haydock last time out in October.
But at the prices, preference is for Brian Ellison's Global Village at 14/1. Now rated 92, the 2012 Victoria Cup winner was beaten by a short head in this last year off a mark of 94 and his latest race at Wolverhampton will have helped to shake off the cobwebs.
2.05 Doncaster: Guest of Honour
2.20 Kempton: Trumpet Major
2.40 Doncaster: Jack Dexter
3.15 Doncaster: Global Village (e/w)
3.50 Doncaster: Gabrial's Kaka
4.35 Navan: Baily Green