Adam Norman Column

There’s a change of pace this weekend as the Flat season makes an abrupt reappearance at Doncaster, even though the turf campaign doesn’t get going in earnest for another 10 days.

The Betway Lincoln (Handicap) has been the traditional starting point of the Flat for decades and the annual cavalry charge doesn’t look an easy puzzle to solve this year, if it ever has.

With 22 runners there’s always an element of luck involved, but the pay-off is rewarding if you find the winner, and while top Malton trainer Richard Fahey saddles five I like the look of his Dolphin Vista.

There doesn’t appear to be that much early pace on so the four-year-old, who was gelded during the winter, could be able to boss a steady early gallop from a centre pitch, from where he’ll be well positioned to wind it up.

With Paul Hanagan back at Musley Bank the old partnership could get their renewed ties off to a flying start at double figure odds.

Three recent winners of the race had been prepared in Dubai and Richard Hannon saddles Oh This is Us after a couple of spins out in Meydan.

The four-year-old made big strides last summer and with those recent runs over seven furlongs under his belt, he looks ready to go the extra furlong again and the booking of Ryan Moore is significant.

Yuften has been all the rage this week and looks certain to start favourite but he may want really quick ground, so at single figures he’s worth taking on.

Action from Doncaster Racecourse.

Hanagan and Fahey team up in the consolation race – the Betway Spring Mile – with Another Touch, who showed gradual improvement last summer after starting out well here first time out.

He’s spent the early part of the spring in Dubai without actually running but he won’t need to show much improvement on last year’s form to take a hand in the finish over a trip that suits.

There are a couple of really strong conditions races on the supporting card, while the first two-year-old race of the season – the Brocklesby – has been divided for the first time.

Last year’s Classic contender Stormy Atlantic returns to action in the Listed Betway Doncaster Mile, and looks a worthy favourite.

John Gosden’s horses have been going well on the all-weather lately and Jack Hobbs won in Dubai so he could be worth following in the coming weeks.

He fields two against Stormy Atlantic, headed by Crazy Horse, who is the sort of four-year-old the trainer excels with. Following a truncated 2016 campaign, now could be the time to latch on with Frankie Dettori in the saddle.

The Newmarket handler could also be on the mark in the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton via Linguistic, another lightly-raced four-year-old poised for better things this year.

The jumps season is biding its time between Cheltenham and Aintree and there are only a couple of low grade meetings on Saturday, but Dan Skelton brings the keen-going Asum (3.55) back in trip and the sharp track at Stratford should suit the six-year-old, so take the hint.

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