Tabarrak has a favourites’s chance

March 23rd, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

In a way, the most interesting horse performing on Town Moor on the opening day of the turf Flat season is John Gosden’s Taqdeer, who contests the 32Red Spring Mile, the Lincoln consolation race. Absent for the better part of two years and owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, Taqdeer would surely not have been kept in training unless connections thought he had a chance of making a significant impression at handicap level or above.

As usual, the Lincoln itself is full of imponderables but the eye-catching form-line from last season involves Fire Brigade and Addeybb. The latter had the better of things at the back-end and is still a pound or two to the good but, interestingly, Ryan Moore switches to Fire Brigade. He seldom rides for Michael Bell, although I do recall an extremely well-handicapped horse winning the big mile handicap at Glorious Goodwood a couple of years ago.

It’s probably foolish to back one without the other and Addeybb’s trainer William Haggas has already been among the winners, so this consistent individual should not be far away.

Richard Fahey is always to be respected, of course, and it surprises me that Withernsea is available at 33/1 overnight. He lost his way entirely towards the end of last season but won a good handicap at one stage and figures on a very handy mark. Fahey is brilliant at having them ready first time up and there will probably be a few firms paying each-way on the first five. Covering all of the trainer’s runners on the opening two days is not as foolish as it sounds, the profit to level stakes in two of the last three years having been 16 points and 10 points.

Being with Richard Hannon right from the start is not a bad idea, either, and TABARRAK will be the one to beat in the Listed Mile.