Top Notch Tonto Can Deliver In The Lincoln

In 2014 Top Notch Tonto finished 8 lengths behind Olympic Glory off level weights in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes. The horse has won at Group 3 level in the past so is undoubtedly a Group horse running in a handicap in the Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday.

The race is the first of 33 Heritage Handicaps during the turf Flat season which have a poor record for favourites over the last three years. The SP favourite has not won since 2010 and the average price of the last six winners is over 16/1.

In a fluctuating market, Chelsea Lad was backed early in the week but doesn’t run so Top Notch Tonto is the horse for money as post time approaches. There could be a maximum field of 22 runners in the Lincoln which means place terms of one-quarter the odds for the first four.

At 25/1 Top Notch Tonto represented tremendous each way value but having been slashed to 10/1 the horse must now be backed win only. I’d place your bets with a bookmaker offering best odds guaranteed on Saturday as the horse could be shorter at race time.

Top Notch Tonto was only 10th of 13 behind Nimr in the Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton earlier this month which doesn’t augur well for one of the most competitive handicaps of the season.

The trainer, Brian Ellison, feels the horse needed that run on a track and surface that was far from ideal. The projected soft ground at Doncaster is a positive and the horse has pleased Ellison in work at home. Top Notch Tonto has almost one stone in hand on his highest historical rating

Since 2000 every winner of the Lincoln has been aged 4, 5 or 6 and Top Notch Tonto is a year older. Another negative could be the weight allocation of nine stone six pounds as only two winners since 1965 have won with that burden or more.

However, Ellison has given the ride to Ben Robinson, a claimer who takes seven pounds off through his allowance. In a tight handicap that could make the difference between winning the race and being unplaced.

Top Notch Tonto would be quite well handicapped without the jockey’s allowance but that weight concession provides a decent margin for error. In a big field handicap luck in running is crucial but the race is on the straight course and interference in the race is less likely than on a round course.

Ellison has trained Top Notch Tonto with the Lincoln in mind and the trainer thinks his horse is tailor made for the contest. The early birds have hovered up the bigger prices but the odds should not put you off a potential good thing and 10/1 is still a working man’s price. A near career best effort would get the job done.

Tip: Top Notch Tonto to win the Lincoln (3.35pm on Saturday) at 10/1 with William Hill.

Ian Hudson

Ian Hudson has 15 years experience in the sports betting industry in a number of roles. He has worked as an odds compiler and trader for bwin and Expekt. He was head of trading for several sports and gained extensive experience of in-running trading. He also has trading experience in licensed betting offices and on-course. Ian is a writer for several sports websites covering the main British and European sports. He has expertise in soccer, horse racing, cricket, tennis and golf. One of past current assignments was working as a Betting Editor for the Daily Mirror and he has been published in The Independent online. A publication called A Guide To Sports Betting is part of Ian’s portfolio. In that book, he focused on individual sports and he wrote a chapter on the best policies for winning on horse racing. Money management and staking when betting on racing were covered with reference to a number of successful strategies. Ian is now heavily involved in providing racing content to a number of websites in an engaging and informative way. We hope you can benefit from insight developed over many years of experience betting on and writing about racing. His in-depth knowledge of the sport and betting will be a great asset for your betting on horse racing.
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