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3.25pm, Lingfield, Saturday, March 17, 2001

DID YOU BACK 12/1 WINNER - BICYCLE THIEF (Recommended at 14/1)





BP = Best price offered by Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral and the Tote

3.25pm £20,000-added The Lingfield Gold Cup Hurdle 2m 3f 110yds

1) 324541 Springfield Scally Steve Gollings 8-11-10 Paul Flynn
Very decent performer who relishes soft ground such as when successful last time out at Uttoxeter under 11st 8lb. Top weight after going up 6lb in the ratings for latest success. Best when making the running. No real value. BP 6 L, WH

2) 613PR6 All Royal Richard Lee 10-11-08 Andrew Thornton
Still fairly useful if in the mood but a thoroughly unreliable old monkey who often fails to start. Best left well alone. Dropped 5lb in the ratings. BP 33 L, T, WH

3) 462112/ Heart Of Avondale Nicky Henderson 8-11-04 John Kavanagh
Decent performer in 1998/99 for Len Lungo back in 1998/99. Winning form is on good ground and best watched here. BP 25 L

4) 211/6P-5 Goldanzig Tom McGovern 6-11-03 Robert Thornton
Useful ex-Irish performer who went well for a long time when making seasonal reappearance at Wincantonlast month. Some chance on best form. BP 11 WH

5) 23-1111 Regal Holly Charlie Mann 6-10-12 Carl Rafter (5)
Admirable mare who is undefeated in four outings this season at Catterick, Market Rasen, Fontwell and most recently in 0-150 event at Ascot. Should go well again but is no value. Has risen another 6lb in the ratings for latest win. BP 100/30 WH

6) 00/6600 Perfect Venture Nicky Henderson 8-10-12 Mr M Foley (7)
Hasn't shown much recently and keeps disappointing. Dropped 5lb in the ratings from last time. BP 20 L

7) 3110-00 Bicycle Thief Venetia Williams 8-10-11 Brian Crowley (3)
Good novice last season and some encouragement from last run. Won't be inconvenienced by the ground and the trip. Dropped 3lb in the ratings and looks good value. BP 14 L, T, WH

8) 122-102 Stormy Skye Gary Moore 5-10-10 Philip Hide
Consistent sort who ran well at Kempton last time out. Up 3lb in the ratings for the last effort. BP 8 T

9) F32400 Quistaquay Seamus Mullins 9-10-09 Finbar Keniry (3)
Mud-loving mare who mixes hurdling and chasing. Not the most consistent but would have place possibilities if putting in her best effort. BP 25 T

10) 411003 Kittenkat Richard Mitchell 7-10-08 Sophie Mitchell
Relishes testing conditions but may need further. BP 12 L, WH

11) 21111 Guard Duty Martin Pipe 4-10-08 Tony McCoy
Martin Pipe's first string following wins at Taunton (thrice) and Warwick in juvenile events. Sure to be primed for this but others offer better value. Up 10lb in the ratings since last time. BP 4 T

12) 3-2123 Montreal Martin Pipe 4-10-05 Timmy Murphy
Pipe's second string but landed a juvenile event at Cheltenham's Open 2000. Bit disappointing since. BP 16 WH

13) P415UP Hurdante Eric Alston 11-10-04 Warren Marston
Landed a decent handicap hurdle at Newbury in December and has subsequently been novice chasing (showed little behind Best Mate last time). Not completely out of it on return to timber but others preferred. BP 16 L, T, WH

BICYCLE THIEF is excellent value each-way.



The opening of the British Flat turf season happens at Doncaster next week, with the exciting three-day RANDOMBET.COM Lincoln meeting starting on Thursday, March 22.

This media pack offers plenty of statistics and other useful information about the RANDOMBET.COM Lincoln, the £50,000 feature race of the three days which is run on Saturday, March 24.

Owners and trainers will again be able to choose their own draw for the big race which is run on Doncaster's famous straight mile.

Opinions about the best draw often vary and the draw ceremony, on Thursday, March 22, gives connections a say in this important matter. A mystery celebrity, who is only being revealed on the day, will conduct the draw.

The big question is whether to plump for low or high numbers. Last year John Ferneley, the Lincoln winner, and Katy Nowaitee, victorious in the consolation Spring Mile on the Friday, were both drawn low, from 1 and 4 respectively, but the table indicates that Kuala Lipis (drawn 21 of 24 in 1997) and Hunters Of Brora (drawn 23 of 23 in 1998) were successful in the Lincoln.

The jockey statistics also are also very informative, with Richard Quinn after his third successive Lincoln, having won on Kuala Lipis in 1997 and on Right Wing in 1999 - his last two rides in the great handicap. This year Quinn is due to ride the Peter Harris-trained Kirovski who is one of the favourites.

Matt Finnegan from Ladbrokes reports that ante-post betting turnover has been good for this year's RANDOMBET.COM Lincoln, with Kirovski and Nimello proving especially popular.

He said: "With Cheltenham being postponed, punters have been looking for something to get their teeth stuck into. Kirovski has received the strongest backing overall. When Nimello won at Wolverhampton on Saturday, we cut him into to 7/1 (from 12/1) after receiving significant support and he is now 6/1 favourite with us. After the five-day entry stage on Monday, we expect business to be strong all week."

David Hood of William Hill similarly says there has "very, very good support" for Kirovski and also significant money for Nimello who is now 11/2 from a high of 16/1.

Doncaster's three-day meeting goes ahead as normal, though of course the full protective measures required by the British Horseracing Board will be in place.

Tim Betteridge, Doncaster Racecourse's General Manager, said: "The RANDOMBET.COM Lincoln is always highly competitive and this year's renewal looks like being better than ever. Invader won the Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton last Saturday most impressively and Nimello looked equally as good when capturing a decent handicap at the same meeting.

"The money for the Peter Harris-trained Kirovski looks significant as he won three good races last season, while the return of Lynda Ramsden to training in this country is especially welcome and her two entries, John Ferneley and Mastermind, could play significant parts.

"We are really looking forward to some exciting and competitive racing over the three days which is good for racegoers and punters."


Just seven renewals of the RANDOMBET.COM Lincoln at Doncaster have been run on going officially faster than good, but four of those have been in the last eight years. Out of the 36 runnings at Doncaster, 15 have taken place with ground conditions softer than good. The remaining 14 have been run on good ground, including last year's renewal won by John Ferneley.

Sixteen of the 36 winners have started from a single-figure (far-side) draw, including half of the last 12.

With an average field of 25.47 since 1965, it could mathematically be expected that single-figure draws would account for roughly 35 per cent of winners - slightly less than the actual ratio of 44 per cent.

Looking at the draw for placed horses as well as winners tells a rather different tale. At a glance, one can see clearly that the results indicate that a high draw was a considerable advantage in the early years.

But things have changed since 1978. Indeed, in the last ten races, using the order as they passed the post, 25 of the first four horses home have come from the lowest ten numbers in the draw, whereas only nine have come from the highest ten.

In those same ten years, horses from the highest ten in the draw have been kept out of the frame on two occasions, whereas the same has not happened once at the other end of the draw. However, the winner also came from a high draw in 1991, 1992, 1997 and 1998.

1993 saw the first running of a consolation race, the Spring Mile, for those horses who failed to get a place in the field for the Lincoln. Run over the same course and distance the day before, the Friday, the Spring Mile was thought certain to provide valuable clues to the effect of the draw in the Lincoln itself, but got off to a poor start in that respect when the first three in the Spring Mile were drawn high and the first four in the Lincoln were all drawn low.

The influence of the draw in the RANDOMBET.COM Spring Mile looked at its most pronounced, however, in 1996 when low numbers dominated on good to soft going, and this proved an accurate guide to what happened when the ground was even softer 24 hours later.

But in 1999 high numbers (the stand's rail) dominated in good to soft conditions whereas in the Lincoln, the first three came down the centre of the course. Last year there was a mixture in both races, although horses drawn below five were successful in each contest.


Winner / Draw: 1, 2, 3, 4/ Field/ Going / Distances/ Time
1991 AMENABLE 23, 7, 2, 14 25 Soft 1 , , 2 1m.42.75
1992 HIGH LOW 17, 5, 6, 22 24 Good 1 , 1 , 2 1m.42.74
1993 HIGH PREMIUM 5, 6, 9, 4 24 Good/Firm , , 1 1m.37.90
1994 OUR RITA 6, 7, 5*, 22 24 Good/Firm , hd, 1 1m.37.97
1995 ROVING MINSTREL 11,12, 4,10 23 Good/Firm sh, , 1 1m.40.11
1996 STONE RIDGE 6, 7, 15, 1 24 Soft 1 , 6, 2 1m.44.67
1997 KUALA LIPIS 21, 6, 4, 10 24 Good/Firm sh, 1, 2 1m.39.02
1998 HUNTERS OF BRORA 23, 12, 6, 5 23 Good nk, 1 , 1m.41.60
1999 RIGHT WING 8, 11, 7, 22 24 Good/Soft , 1, 1m.41.60
2000 JOHN FERNELEY 1, 2, 21, 8 24 Good , nk, 2 1m 41.12

* In 1994, the horse from stall 13 finished third past the post but was disqualified.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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