The David O'Meara-trained Mondialiste is an each-way alternative to the sold favourite
The new turf flat season gets under way at Doncaster this weekend and the first big betting race is by tradition Saturday’s Lincoln, which is run over the straight mile on Town Moor (due off 3.45pm).
The last four winners – 16/1, 25/1 and 20/1 (twice) – have not been that easy to find, though fancied runners were doing well before that and the current market leader is the William Haggas-trained Mange All, who has had this race as his target since winning at Ascot last July. Given Haggas has won this race three Lincolns since 1992 and from just six runners, it’s safe to say he knows exactly what’s required and you can bet your bottom dollar he will have the four-year-old primed to run the race of his life.
The positives keep stacking up as he could potentially have upwards of 10lb in hand over his rivals on a mark of 97 (he will carry 8st 11lb), meaning he gets weight from all bar four of his 22 rivals. Furthermore, a strongly run mile on Town Moor will be right up his street given the way he stayed on to win over Ascot’s straight mile and when running fourth over 1m1f at Newmarket last backend. The booking of Graham Lee also catches the eye with the rider having a decent record for the trainer in these big handicaps, and a 20% strike rate overall since 2012.
Of course none of that has been lost on the bookmakers and we’re being asked to take just 11/2, with an even stingier 4/1 on offer in a place. Penitent and Expresso Star obliged as well backed favourites (3/1 and 10/3 respectively) in 2009 and 2010, and Mange All could be another. However, he’ll surely be a point or two bigger on the day given how bookmakers have to scrap for your money on Saturdays these days, and I can wait until then to back him.
In the meantime, I suggest you have a few quid each-way on David O’Meara’s MONDIALISTE who is another to have been laid out for the race, and the vibes coming out of his stable this week are that he’s ready to hit the ground running. I’ve vowed to make O’Meara one of my go-to trainers for the big handicaps this season as his record over the past couple of seasons is exceptional, and he’s done particularly well with imports from other stables.
The selection was bought by his current owners for €190,000 after eight runs for Freddy Head, highlighted by a third to Havana Gold in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat and a narrow victory (1m) at Saint-Cloud last May, when he had the smart Kenhope behind him. It would be wrong to take that form too literally but he’s clearly not short of ability and the son of Galileo has reportedly improved for the move to Yorkshire. He does have his share of weight and he’d be the first horse to carry more than 9st 4lb to victory since Babodana in 2004, but he’s almost certainly better than his current 105 rating. I also like his draw in stall six, next to Mange All in seven, as all bar one of the last 11 winners were drawn 16 or lower.
I suggest you back him each-way at the current 16/1 with a view to having a saver at least on Mange All on the day at the best available odds. This might be getting greedy but I may well combine the pair with Richard Fahey’s Gabrial, who landed the Doncaster Mile at this course on his seasonal debut in 2013, in a combination forecast bet. It would be some start to the new season if that cops!
Mondialiste each-way @ 16/1 Ladbrokes (1/4 odds, 188.8.131.52)
Mange All (saver) @ best morning-line odds
Mondialiste / Mange All / Gabrial combination forecast (six bets)