Swiftly Done can sneak wet Lincoln

 

To think that some of these jockeys will be riding in Dubai next weekend.

Yesterday they rode through sleet and mud at Doncaster as the first day of a new turf season on the Flat permitted only the most sarcastic intimations of the sunlit carnivals to come.

From Australia, for instance, came news that Black Caviar had just extended her immaculate spree to 24. Perhaps she might yet return to Royal Ascot, to redress the indignity of that photo-finish scramble last summer. And then Model Pupil won the feature race by eight lengths, carrying the same colours as another legend of the modern Turf.

There will be no Frankel, of course, this time round. But the carousel keeps turning. The maiden race that opens the Irish season at the Curragh tomorrow was won last year by Dawn Approach, still unbeaten and hot favourite for the season's first Classic, the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, six weeks today. Who can say, then, what satisfactions the Flat will disclose once the sun finally comes out?

Mind you, any punters needing to salve wounds sustained at Cheltenham could be indulged any secret relief should today's card fail to survive a dawn inspection.

At the best of times, the William Hill Lincoln Handicap is a minefield. In this going, it becomes harder still to take sanctuary in the unexposed, well-bred horses towards the head of the market. Eshtibaak and Lahaag, for instance, represent the champion trainer with an aggregate of five handicap starts between them, but this race could summon more brutish, seasoned qualities.

The default option is plainly Brae Hill, who has finished second and first in the last two runnings, but both were on good ground. (They were watering last year, unbelievable as it may seem.) While he does have form in heavy going, he has spent most of his career at shorter distances and conditions could bring him to the limit of his stamina.

Hit The Jackpot is intriguing on his first start for David O'Meara, who continues to improve recruits from elsewhere, but would represent a fairly blind punt after losing his way in Ireland.

In contrast, the principle leap of faith required by Swiftly Done (3.50) is a teenage jockey still very short of experience. But Luke Leadbitter did manage to crack the riddle of Goodwood last summer, relative to which this straight mile should be a picnic, and his mount made very solid strides last year.

After proving that he goes well fresh with a good second on his return, he won consecutive handicaps in the mud – including one over course and distance – and had excuses for both subsequent defeats. Still on a fair mark, he looks a good each-way call to profit from his partner's claim at 25-1.

The Spring Mile, a consolation race for those that missed the cut for the big one, can go to Bancnuanaheireann (2.40). Picked up very cheaply by Mick Appleby last summer, he flew into a close second at Goodwood on his first start on these shores. Though his form was a little inconsistent thereafter, he was a close fourth at 50-1 in the Cambridgeshire and is clearly very much at home with a big field and strong gallop.

Conditions were testing when he won his maiden back in Ireland by nine lengths, while Appleby – who continues to make a very good impression – believes the horse is best fresh and has duly primed him for today's outing.

O'Meara has found an interesting one in Switcher (3.15). Though she does have a few pounds to find, her best form is all on soft ground and the drop back to six furlongs makes sense after she showed bright speed over seven on a couple of occasions last year.

Model Pupil, incidentally, will step up into Group company after storming clear in the closing stages yesterday. This track had long seemed to be beckoning him last season, but he missed the St Leger after a setback and still seemed a little green until woken up by Ryan Moore yesterday.

Charles Hills mentioned the John Porter Stakes at Newbury, though his father's record at Chester – where Model Pupil ran so well last May – will surely make the Ormonde Stakes a tempting alternative route to Cup races this summer. Assuming it ever comes.

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Bancnuanaheireann (2.40 Doncaster)

Next Best

Thorpe Bay (2.35 Southwell)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Web / Digital Analyst - SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Campaign Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency is currently ...

Software Engineer - C++

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software En...

Software Team Leader - C++

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software Tea...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor