The flat returned in Ireland on Sunday, and on Saturday it is back in the UK. The first big race of the year is the Lincoln Heritage Handicap, and this is a race that has thrown up plenty of generously priced winners down through the years. It has been hard work for favourite backers, with none of the last 6 winning, and the winning starting prices since 2010 were 16/1, 25/1 20/1 x 2 and 12/1 x 2.
|Master Carpenter looks well treated for Saturday.
That suggests that it pays to look for each way value, and at odds of 40/1 with Bet365 I believe Master Carpenter is massively overpriced. Rod Millman’s stable star had just the one start in handicap company last season, and it came at the end of a long hard season over 10f (soft) at Sandown off 102.
He had been running in pattern company all season, and his best run came over a mile behind the very smart Convey at Pontefract on good to firm ground. He was denied a clear run in that Listed contest and he was only 4L behind the 111 rated winner. His last win came in a 10f handicap at York in 2015 off 104, and he had previously gone very close at Sandown off the same mark (8f gd/fm).
His very best form came when winning a Listed heat at Sandown (8f sft) and a 9f Group 3 at Chantilly (9f gd/sft), and over Saturday’s trip of a mile he is best with a little bit of juice in the ground. With showers forecast this week and the ground currently described as good to soft, conditions should be right up his street at Donny.
Due to Master Carpenter’s winless season in 2016 he has slid back down the handicap, and he will race off a mark of just 99 at Doncaster. Lulu Stanford will take off a further 5lb, and she has 3 wins and 2 places from 10 rides for Millman. She got to know Master Carpenter when riding him at Sandown on his final start of last season, and her claim means he effectively races off 94.
That is 10lb below his last winning mark, and another positive is that he has placed form here so we know he handles the track. Master Carpenter has also won on all sorts of ground, but the current description of good to soft looks ideal. Stakes should be kept low as his fitness has to be taken on trust, but he can be backed at odds of 40/1 with Bet365, and at that sort of price he is well worth chancing each way.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: LINCOLN HANDICAP-MASTER CARPENTER E/W @ 40/1 B365