Lincoln Handicap Trends

Billed as the feature race on the first Saturday of the new British flat racing turf season, the SBK-sponsored Lincoln Handicap is run over a distance of 1m at Doncaster racecourse.  

In recent years the race has been dominated by horses aged 4 years-old, winning 11 of the last 18 renewals, while with three wins in the last 14 runnings, trainer William Haggas is worth noting.

Weight-carried has been a big trend in recent years with 17 of the last 18 winners carrying 9-4 or less, while 10 of the last 18 (56%) were officially rated between 95-100.

Despite, being a competitive handicap the favourites in the betting don’t have too bad a record either with 4 of the last 18 (22%) winning, but also note that 11 of the last 18 favourites were unplaced.

In 2022, the Lincoln Handicap will be run on Saturday 26th March.


Lincoln Handicap Betting Trends

18/18 – Aged 6 or younger
17/18 – Carried 9-4 or less in weight
15/18 – Had won over at least 1m before
15/18 – Had won between 2-4 times before
14/18 – Drawn in stall 9 or higher
13/18 – Having their first run of the flat season
12/18 – Winning distance – 1 length or more
11/18 – Unplaced favourites
11/18 – Aged 4 years-old
10/18 – Returned a double figure price in the betting
10/18 – Officially rated between 95-100
10/18 – Placed first or second last time out
9/18 – Had raced at Doncaster before
8/18 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
8/18 – Won last time out
7/18 – Raced at either Newmarket or Lingfield last time out
5/18 – Placed horses from stall 12 (1 winner)
4/18  - Placed horses from stall 16 (1 winner)
4/18 – Winning favourites
3/18 – Trained by William Haggas
2/18 – Trained by Richard Fahey
2/18 – Trained by Charlie Appleby
2/18 – Trained by John Quinn
2/18 - Trained by John Gosden
2/18 – Ridden by James Doyle (2 of last 3)
9 of the last 11 winners carried between 9-0 and 9-4 in weight
Just 1 winner has carried 9-10 in the last 35 runnings
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 13/1
Note: The 2006 renewal was run at Redcar and the 2007 running was staged at Newcastle

Lincoln Handicap Recent Winners

2021 - HAQEEQY (9/2)
2020 - No Race (Covid)
2019 – AUXERRE (5/2 fav)
2018 – ADDEYBB (5/1)
2017 – BRAVERY (20/1)
2016 – SECRET BRIEF (12/1)
2015 – GABRIAL (12/1)
2014 – OCEAN TEMPEST (33/1)
2013 – LEVITATE (20/1)
2012 – BRAE HILL (25/1)
2011 – SWEET LIGHTNING (16/1)
2010 – PENITENT (3/1 fav)
2009 – EXPRESSO STAR (10/3 fav)
2008 – SMOKEY OAKEY (10/1)
2007 – VERY WISE (9/1)
2006 – BLYTHE KNIGHT (22/1)
2005 – STREAM OF GOLD (5/1 fav)
2004 – BABODANA (20/1)
2003 -  PABLO (5/1)

Note: The 2006 renewal was run at Redcar and the 2007 running was staged at Newcastle

Let’s look at some of the key trends……………………

Age Concern:  In more recent times, the bulk of Lincoln Handicap winners have been aged 6 or younger - in fact, all of the last 18! The last horse aged 7+ to win was in 1998 (Hunters of Brora), while going deeper into this stat - since 1965 – we’ve only seen two successful horses aged 7 or older! Therefore, it’s actually the 4, 5 and 6 year-olds that easily have the best records, but if you want to focus on just one of those three age groups, it’s the 4 year-olds that have edged it with 11 wins in the last 18, including the last five renewals!

Weight Watchers:  Weight carried in this 1m handicap race is certainly another thing to consider. With a whopping 17 of the last 18 (94%) winners carrying 9st-4lbs or less, then this trend is key. In more recent times, 9 of the last 11 winners won carrying between 9st and 9st-4lbs on their backs, but last year’s winner - Haqeeqy - had a bit less (8st 12lbs). However, that small weight window between (9st -9st 4lbs) will certainly help put a line through a lot of the runners. It might also pay to note that in the last 23 runnings (since 1998) we’ve only had one winning horse carry less than 8st-9lbs!

Trip Advisor:  With the Lincoln being run over 1m, and most of the runners having run over this trip in the past, then a lot of horses will get a ‘thumbs up’ on the stat that’s seen 15 of the last 18 winners being previous winners over a mile – but it’s still worth noting. That said, last year’s winner - Haqeeqy, defied this trend having only previously won over 7f - but overall horses stepping up from 6f or 7f, with no previous winning form over 1m+, haven’t fared as well.

Recent Form:  Coming here off the back of a solid recent run is another thing to look for. 10 of the last 18 (56%) winners finished first or second in their last race, with 8 of the last 18 (44%) coming here off the back of a win. If we add in that 15 of the last 18 winners had won between 2-4 times previously in their careers, then this is another trend that should help to whittle down the big field. Backed up again last year too, with Haqeeqy having won last time out and having had three previous wins to his name. Finally, don’t be too concerned if your fancy is having its first run for a while as 13 of the last 18 winners won this on their seasonal reappearances - i.e., were not campaigned on the AW tracks in previous months.

Course Knowledge:  Having course form at Doncaster has been another plus to look for with 9 of the last 18 winners having raced on Town Moor before. Before winning this race 12 months ago, Haqeeqy had won a decent handicap over 7f. Also note horses that ran at either Lingfield or Newmarket last time out – 7 of the last 18 winners fitted the bill here.

Draw Bias:  With normally around 20+ runners, then the draw is certainly worth considering too. With a huge 14 of the last 18 (78%) winners coming from stalls 9 or higher this has been a useful stat that was again backed-up in 2019 when the Charlie Appleby-trained Auxerre won from stall 17 and last year’s winners started from draw 10. Hopefully, this trend can instantly put a line through 8 runners! Also look for the horses drawn between 12 and 16 - in the last 18 years we’ve seen 10 placed.

Market Leaders:  Considering the really competitiveness of the Lincoln Handicap, it’s actually been fairly kind to punters. We’ve seen 4 of the last 18 favourites win (22%), while for two of the last three runnings we’ve also seen the ‘top two’ in the betting finish first and second. Having said that, the average winning SP in the last 18 years is still around 13/1, while even though the market leaders have a good record, we’ve also seen 11 of the last 18 jollies finish unplaced – suggesting the favourites tend to either boom or bust!

Trainer Watch:  We’ve seen some repeat trainers winning this race, with William Haggas the most successful current yard with four wins. 12 months ago, the John Gosden camp grabbed their second win in the race too, while Richard Fahey, John Quinn and Charlie Appleby (2 of the last 5) are other yards with two wins under their belts since 2006 - all five of these mentioned yards command respect again in 2022. In terms of jockeys - James Doyle has ridden two of the last three winners, so anything he runs is also worthy of a second glance.




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