Racing: Clues point to Russian
Saturday 27 March 1999
The winner, Bomb Alaska, was drawn 19 of 19, while the next two home came from 16 and 15, which would seem to indicate a clear bias in favour of high numbers. Yet while Bomb Alaska left a box tight against the stands rail, he raced down the middle and finished up much closer to the far side. The same was true of Zurs, the runner-up, and as a result the outcome should be ignored.
The message from the gods, then, seems to be that the Lincoln is a race to leave alone. But then it always is, and no one ever takes much notice. Every single one of the 24 runners has some sort of chance, which means that you could have a bet in the race every year from now until 2023 and still not be sure of finding a single winner.
Little wonder, then, that when William Hill's recent flotation was called off, their PR department came up with a "free" bet on the Lincoln-Grand National double by way of apology to those who had registered to buy shares. Many City reporters whose only experience of racing is an annual freebie at Ascot or Cheltenham duly declared this to be a generous offer, regardless of the fact that the odds against finding both winners will be at least 100-1, and probably closer to 300-1. That publicity alone will more than cover the tiny amount they may eventually pay out.
Anyone who does have a free bet, though, should look beyond the market leaders, Captain Scott and Right Wing. Perhaps the only point of serious interest in the Spring Mile was the performance of Scene, a galloping companion of Captain Scott, who was fancied yesterday but trailed home last. Captain Scott, of course, knows nothing of this, and may well follow up this month's victory in the Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton, but Scene's dismal effort hardly inspires confidence.
Right Wing, third last year, is a difficult ride, but this still leaves 22 possibilities, and Russian Music (3.40) can be nothing more than a hopeful choice based on a point of handicapping. At this meeting 12 months ago, Russian Music was second to Hornbeam, giving him weight. Now, he is getting weight from the same horse, having plunged down the handicap. On his day he is very useful and Gay Kelleway, his trainer, is more than capable of getting him ready first time up.
The rest of the card is more manageable, though hardly any easier. Cretan Gift (4.15) is the pick of the field in the Cammidge Trophy, while Largesse (4.45), who improved significantly last year, may continue on the upgrade in the Doncaster Shield. But there is more of interest at Newbury, where WILMOTT'S FANCY (nap 3.30) must go well in the novice hurdle final, and Menesonic (next best 2.30) can beat some well-known but declining names in the handicap chase.
A more significant race, though, is at Leopardstown tomorrow where Stravinsky, the 2,000 Guineas favourite, makes an unusually early seasonal debut for a Classic contender. Since his trainer is Aidan O'Brien, you have to assume that he knows what he is doing.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal team news: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fails late fitness test as Harry Redknapp makes five changes for QPR
Manchester United vs Newcastle match report: Brilliant Wayne Rooney scores twice to fire up United's unlikely title challenge
Arsenal vs QPR player ratings: Could anyone outshine new Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez and who was worse than villain Olivier Giroud?
Manchester United 3 Newcastle 1: 'I'm playing like Paul Scholes,' says Wayne Rooney
Sports Quiz of the Year 2014: The Questions
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...