What’s the best draw in the Lincoln Handicap?

The Lincoln Handicap, run over a straight mile at Doncaster in late March or early April, traditionally marks the start of the Flat season ‘proper’. The straight mile on Town Moor has no pronounced draw bias, but the Lincoln Handicap has a safety limit of 22, such that even a minor advantage or disadvantage – which can, in turn, be a factor of pace – can have a major effect on the outcome.

Granted that the Lincoln Handicap is run on a straight course, typically at an end-to-end gallop, any horse will struggle to make all the running, regardless of where on the course it is drawn. The same principle applies, albeit to a slightly lesser extent, to horses that like to race close to the pace and, irrespective of the draw, the winner is always likely to emerge from a group of patiently ridden horses that share the pace burden between them. That said, in recent years, thirteen, or 76%, of the last seventeen winners of the Lincoln Handicap were drawn in stall nine, or higher, so while it may not pay to be dogmatic about the draw, a middle to high draw does seem to be a good starting point.