Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 18 February 2018

Weld keeps Lincoln options open for 'adaptable' Tandem

Dermot Weld is contemplating a tilt at this Saturday's Lincoln at Doncaster with Tandem.

The four-year-old – which carries the colours of Khalid Abdullah – won twice over a mile last year, before finishing off his season with fourth place in a Listowel Listed contest over a mile and a half. He could either head to Doncaster or run in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on Sunday.

"Tandem is in both the English Lincoln and the Irish Lincoln and he's most likely to run in one or the other," Weld explained. "The weather I gather is bad in Doncaster. I'll decide by Wednesday which race he runs in.

"He's reasonably adaptable (ground-wise), his only disappointing run was in very testing ground in Listowel, when he just didn't handle the ground."

Market leaders Nine Realms, Lahaag and Captain Bertie also stood their ground at the five-day stage of the Doncaster race. Nine Realms has had just three starts for William Haggas. Lahaag has had four for John Gosden.

Gosden also has Eshtibaak prominent in the betting and said: "They both worked this morning and I'm happy with them. They get in, and the plan is to run them both.

"They both handle soft ground, so there's no issue there."

Meanwhile, Aidan O'Brien is Coral's 5/4 favourite to regain the British Flat trainers' championship, ahead of the start of the new season this week.

The Ballydoyle supremo has been Britain's champion trainer on four occasions, but his last title was back in 2008. Richard Hannon has been champion in 1992, 2010 and 2011 and is a 2/1 shot to regain his title. Reigning champion Gosden is rated a 10/1 chance to retain his crown.

Elsewhere, Davy Russell will find out today how much longer his punctured lung will keep him out of action. The champion jockey took a crashing fall from Un Beau Matin at the final flight of the Coral Cup.


Russell has now left hospital, but has an appointment with a doctor which will give him a clear idea of how long he can expect to be out.

"I'm actually feeling great. To be fair to everybody in Cheltenham (General Hospital), they did a marvellous job of looking after me," said the Cork rider. "I was just a bit unlucky. I had a spontaneous punctured lung and we tried our best to get it fixed before racing (on Thursday) and it didn't work.

"I couldn't breathe properly and had a fierce pain in my chest. If the appointment goes well I'll be back either Thursday or at the weekend, and if it doesn't go well I'll be looking at Punchestown."

Irish Independent

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