Smarty Socks in good shape

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ALL EYES are now on one meeting, tomorrow’s William Hill Lincoln, our first summer raceday of 2012.

Preparations are almost complete for the opening meeting of the flat season at Doncaster – it’s always a thrilling encounter and with the mild, dry weather we’ve been enjoying lately, we’re perhaps even more set for it – it has certainly felt like spring is in the air.

The dry weather means we’ve had to spend a fair bit of time out on the course during the early part of the week to ensure it is well watered. It’s not been too onerous a task though, as even in a short sleeved shirt first thing on the morning, it’s been remarkably mild - it’s hard to believe that it is still only March.

The going remains good for this weekend, with the track looking in fantastic shape thanks to the glorious sunshine and we have a dry, warm forecast for Saturday and Sunday, so we’re all looking forward to what is sure to be a fantastic weekend of racing.

Earlier this week, we were lucky enough to be treated to a day at up-and-coming horse trainer David O’Meara’s stable to see how he is preparing for the Lincoln. O’Meara, who is based at Arthington Barn Stables in North Yorkshire, home to Helmsley Horse Racing, had two entries in the Lincoln line-up.

One of them Penitent will now race in France on Sunday instead but the other Smarty Socks should be in good shape for the big race, thanks to O’Meara’s hard work. Penitent, of course, was a winner of the race two years ago and Smarty Socks has been successful three times now at our Town Moor course.

Another horse to look out for is Eton Forever, winner of the Lincoln consolation race, the Spring Mile, last year. Eton Forever heads the ante post market and bids to give trainer Roger Varian success in the big race this year. This meeting really does have all of the ingredients of a classic two days of racing.

There are seven races on the opening day, with the final race getting started at 5:30pm. The William Hill Lincoln – a famous Heritage Handicap over a straight mile which traditionally begins the new flat racing season – takes place at 3.15 with the first race due to start at 2.05 tomorrow. Sunday’s action gets underway at 2:10pm, with seven races.

For more details of meetings or events at Doncaster Racecourse, go to www.doncaster-racecourse.co.uk or call 01302 511 918.