Paul Mulrennan column: Lincoln preview plus one to follow

By Paul Mulrennan@PMulrennan
Fri 31 Mar 2023

Paul Mulrennan is back with his first column of the new season and looks ahaead to the Lincoln as well as his upcoming rides, starting with a decent book at Newcastle on Friday. Look out for regular website updates from our ambassador throughout the campaign!

The clocks have changed, and the turf season resumes with the Pertemps Network Lincoln at Doncaster. For fans of the All-Weather, there is also a top-quality Kempton card, with the feature being the Listed Magnolia Stakes.

The ground will be a key factor in assessing the Lincoln; whichever horse handles conditions best will prevail. William Haggas has booked Andrea Atzeni for the ride aboard Al Mubhir. He’s proved strongest in the market in recent weeks, ever more so since Haggas took the Irish Lincolnshire with Lattam at the Curragh last Saturday. The Newmarket stables are well-represented generally with Crisford (Awaal), Boughey (Baradar) and Fellowes (Atrium) among those with fancied runners.

One to note for 2023

Sir Thomas Gresham (3.55pm) is my ride at Doncaster on Sunday and he has a little bit of back form with the Clive Cox-trained Salute The Solider, who won a couple of times at Meydan over the winter. I thought my mount ran reasonably well when fifth (66-1) at Southwell last time, but we’ll have to wait and see how he handles the forecast testing conditions.

Away from the track, I was fortunate to be back aboard Azure Blue (Michael Dods) on the gallops last weekend. She enjoyed a fine season last year, signing off with a career-best when successful in the Listed Boadicea Stakes at Newmarket. She has done well physically over the winter and isn’t too far away from making her return to the track.

Mindful of new guidelines

Every year it’s important to stay fit and healthy and, with the new whip guidelines coming into force this week, it will be vital to stay out of the stewards’ room. All riders will need to adapt their riding style (to varying degrees); the number of ‘hits’ has reduced, and we also need to be conscious of ‘shoulder height’, ‘wrong place’ and ‘time to respond’. It will be a tough test for everyone with harsh penalties for those who step outside of the guidelines. Time spent out of the saddle equals a loss of earnings and arguably worse still the risk of losing contacts.

Four chances on Friday

The winter months have been kind. I’ve kept busy without overdoing things, notching a healthy total of 15 winners. I’m leading rider at Newcastle this winter and I intend to remain so with the All-Weather Championships season concluding. I have six booked rides tonight with several chances of adding to that tally.

Bobby Shaftoe (5.20) is a versatile horse who has enjoyed a profitable winter. He wasn’t necessarily at his best at Southwell last time, but should appreciate making the return to Newcastle. He’s unlikely to be inconvenienced by dropping back in trip.

I was frustrated when Kraken Power (6.20) was touched off last week but took some solace from the fact that he was beaten by one of the form horses (Elzaal). He is 2lb ‘well-in’ here before his revised handicap mark comes into force.

Violeta (6.50) is a consistent filly who ran a fair race when third of five over C&D recently. She was coming back from a break and based on figures is entitled to be bang there with the likely favourite Elim. Her trainer Ben Haslam has his string in fine form, saddling jumps’ winners at Newcastle and Hexham this week.

St Andrew’s Castle (7.20) was a C&D winner on penultimate start. He ran well in defeat last week and is due a slight rise (1lb) in the weights. He has a solid chance and is probably marginally ahead of Kraken Power in terms of being my best chance of a winner.

£50,000 up for grabs in Saturday's free-to-play Paddy's Pick 5!

More Latest News



Select any odd to add a bet

Single Bets

Enter a stake to place a bet

Total Stake: 

This video is playing in Picture-In-Picture. Click to Exit.