Zarwaan popular with punters in Betway Lincoln market

Zarwaan is proving popular with punters ahead of the Betway Lincoln after Ed Dunlop indicated he was leaning towards running the four-year-old at Doncaster rather than in the Irish equivalent on Sunday.

Owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Zarwaan was trimmed to 8-1 with William Hill and Paddy Power from 10-1 and 9-1 respectively after 93 horses stood their ground for the one-mile heritage handicap on Town Moor.

Dunlop also has Zarwaan in the 888Sport Conditions Stakes at Kempton on Saturday, as well as the Tote Irish Lincolnshire at the Curragh the following day.

The Newmarket trainer has given his other Doncaster possible, Red Avenger, two other entries at the weekend.

“Red Avenger, who we confirmed for the Lincoln this morning, has been given alternative engagements due to the unsettled forecast at Doncaster for later on in the week,” he said on his website, www.edunlop.com.

“He has been given the option of a one-mile-two-furlong handicap at Chelmsford or the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton over the same trip.

“A firm decision has yet to be made and we need to look at all his options more closely.

“Zarwaan was also confirmed for the Lincoln and he remains in the Irish equivalent.

“We entered him in a seven-furlong conditions race at Kempton on Saturday, but the plan at the moment is to go to Doncaster.”

Dermot Weld, who sent out Saving Mercy to strike in 1984, says the six-year-old Stuccodor is “marginally more likely” to run in the Irish Lincolnshire.

Ground conditions could dictate whether Stuccodor travels to South Yorkshire, but Weld is thinking of keeping him nearer home.

The County Kildare handler told the Irish Times: “Stuccodor loves the soft so a lot will depend on the weather outlook as to where he goes.

“If it looked like turning up very soft in England he could go there, but at the moment it looks marginally more likely he will run at the Curragh.

“He is in very good form and Pat Smullen was very pleased with him when he rode the horse in a piece of work on Saturday.”

There would be no bigger coincidence winner of a race than Lincoln, who is reported to be in tip-top condition by his trainer Mick Channon.

“We’re very pleased with Lincoln, he’s been working well. All his work’s been solid and it certainly won’t be fitness that beats him,” the West Ilsley trainer told www.betway.com.

“Obviously it’s his first time over a mile, on pedigree he should get it, but he does have a lot of speed. We could always go back to seven if the worst comes to the worst.

“The ground doesn’t really matter, we just wouldn’t want anything too firm for him. Good ground would be fine.”

Bronze Angel remains top weight for the for the traditional curtain-raiser to the turf season.

The Marcus Tregoning-trained six-year-old has won two of the last three runnings of the Cambridgeshire, but would have to put up a sterling performance to land this prestigious contest under the steadier of 9st 11lb.

Last year’s winner Ocean Tempest, trained by John Ryan, is on 9st 10lb and could attempt to become first horse to since Babur in 1957 and 1958 to land back-to-back victories in the one mile feature.

The other past winner hoping to try again is David O’Meara’s Penitent, who was successful in 2010 when trained by William Haggas.

The latter has lifted this prize three times and is responsible for ante-post favourite Mange All.

Among other strong fancies in the ante-post market standing their ground are the John Gosden-trained GM Hopkins, Gabrial’s Kaka from Richard Fahey’s stable and Marco Botti’s Moohaarib.

One significant withdrawal was Mindurownbusiness, who had been available at around 14-1 in the betting.

Connections of the Roger Varian-trained four-year-old have decided to aim him instead at the Mile Championship on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday.

“We thought long and hard about whether to leave Mindurownbusiness in the Lincoln but have decided against it,” the Newmarket handler told www.varianstable.com.

“He is an improver on the all-weather, winning over course and distance and at Wolverhampton. It is a valuable prize with a limited field and although we have a few pounds to find on official ratings, he is on the up and goes there with a good chance.”

A maximum field of 22 is allowed in the Lincoln with those who miss the cut having a chance to run in the consolation race, the Betway Spring Mile, on the same card.

Mick Channon intends to aim Malabar straight at the Qipco 1000 Guineas without a prep run.

.“I think she’s my best chance since Queen’s Logic to win a British Classic,” the West Ilsley trainer told www.betway.com.

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