Lincoln Handicap: Better Levitate than never at Doncaster Racecourse

Jockey Darren Egan rides Levitate to a photo-finish victory in the William Hill Lincoln. Picture: Liz Mockler D4324LM
Jockey Darren Egan rides Levitate to a photo-finish victory in the William Hill Lincoln. Picture: Liz Mockler D4324LM

JOCKEY Darren Egan admitted a stroke of fortune helped him ride Levitate to victory in a thrilling Lincoln Handicap at Town Moor.

The 20/1 chance just edged out Global Village and last year’s winner Brae Hill in the delayed curtain raiser for the Flat racing season.

And Egan – on his first outing on board Levitate – said a timely dip of the horse’s head secured the win.

“My instructions were to get him across just behind the leaders,” Egan said.

“I got a but of luck when he picked up and he stuck his head out on the line.

“I was pretty confident of the result on the line but you can never be 100 per cent sure.”

Like in the earlier Spring Mile, the runners shunned either rail for the centre of Doncaster’s straight mile and it looked certain that Brae Hill would land back-to-back wins in the famous handicap, only to be headed in the dying strides

Levitate recently transferred from trainer Alan McCabe to John Quinn who was delighted with both horse and jockey.

Quinn – who landed the race with Blythe Night when it was run at Redcar in 2006. – said: “I was so happy he got in the race this week.

“He’d been working pleasingly and we thought he’d go in the ground.

“We decided to claim off him with Darren and it was the right thing to do.

“The 3lb won us the race.

“The lad had never ridden him before but he rode him as we said.

“To win another Lincoln is phenomenal.

“It’s great for the lads at home as it’s been an awful winter for stable staff.”

The race meeting was delayed by a week to last Saturday after heavy snow.