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Victor Chandler writes . . .
5:49pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in Sport
Just when you thought winter had been and gone the snow arrived in many parts of Britain and, raising doubts about the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster getting the green light.
If racing goes ahead last year's fourth Captain Bertie (3.50) has been very well backed in recent days, goes very well on the ground and looked an unlucky loser in the corresponding race from a 9lb lower mark last year.
Hit The Jackpot makes his British debut for a very shrewd stable and he and Gladys' Gal, just got in at the foot of the weights, are much respected, but I am sticking with Captain Bertie and Charlie Hills.
In the spring Mile Educate (2.40) was improving rapidly when last seen back in the autumn, has winning form on soft ground and has won three of seven career starts to date.
He always suggested he would improve with age and whatever he does this afternoon he is one to keep on the right side of this term.
It might be wiser to concentrate on Newbury, however, and Toubeera (2.55) could be very well handicapped - if you are prepared to overlook her last defeat at Catterick when she was a bitterly disappointing odds-on favourite on the back of a good run at Sandown.
This valuable Mares' Final is a personal favourite and Ballinahow Star was my original selection for the race but with Empiracle and Melodic Rendezvous scoping badly and missing the Festival it is difficult to recommend a horse from the Jeremy Scott yard at present, although he is a trainer going places.
If there is money for Ballinahow Star I will certainly be having a saver on the Jeremy Scott runner.
There is a big prize on offer for the DBS Spring bumper where Chase The Wind (4.40) can go one better than he did on debut back in January and looks to have been kept for this contest.
The mare Fabrika won well over C&D at the beginning of the month but conditions may have gone against her and I am surprised she is not waiting for Aintree next month and the prospect of better ground.
I was at Kelso when Mister Marker (3.30) made a pleasing debut after a long lay-off and, off a 2lb lower mark, I think he will run well in the staying handicap chase. Soft ground certainly holds no terrors and he can be a rare southern winner for trainer Nicky Richards who has re-routed the horse from Kelso where he was due to run before that meeting fell foul of the weather.
We are sponsoring the BetVictor Irish Lincoln at the Curragh on Sunday and a chance is taken on Gunner Lindley (4.30) at 25/1 at betvictor.com.
The selection enjoys soft ground and the yard are in very good form. John Egan takes the mount and we bet 6/1 the field in the 20-runner 100,000 Euro event.