Lincoln test if too soon for Mitraad - William Haggas

MITRAAD is to miss the Betway Lincoln as his trainer William Haggas feels he is not quite ready to do himself justice on his seasonal reappearance.

Trainer, William Haggas, right.

The five-year-old was a best-priced 9-1 second favourite for the first big handicap of the Flat turf season at Doncaster on Saturday despite having had just three races.

“I don’t think he’s quite ready to win. I’ll just give him a bit more time,” said Newmarket-based Yorkshireman Haggas. “We’ll see how he goes, but he’s not far off.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Newmarket trainer reports his other Lincoln entry, Predominance to be on course for Doncaster.

He is set to run in the consolation race, the Betway Spring Mile, on the same card as he does not look like making the cut for the big one.

“He’s going for the consolation race. He seems to be in great form,” said Haggas.

Mitraad’s absence from the Lincoln has left David O’Meara’s Nawton-hopeful Lord Of The Land as short as a clear 4-1 favourite, ahead of Bravo Zolo at around 10s.

Foundation could put his Investec Derby credentials on the line in the Betfred Dante Stakes at York on May 12.

The son of Zoffany is clear second favourite at 12-1 for the premier Classic at Epsom after a successful two-year-old career that saw him land the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket and finish third in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

Foundation is trained by John Gosden, who sent out Golden Horn to take this Group Two contest on the way to glory at Epsom.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Midterm, who currently heads the Derby betting on the back of winning his only start so far at Newbury back in October, is among the 88 entries.

Among the 21 that champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has put are the unraced US Army Ranger, Johannes Vermeer and Landofhopeandglory.

Others in a stellar entry include Godolphin’s Champagne Stakes victory Emotionless, Gimcrack hero Ribchester and Gosden’s highly-promising colt Royal Artillery.

Trainer Hugo Palmer has nominated two from his growing operation – Goodwood Vintage Stakes winner Galileo Gold and Mengli Khan, impressive winner on his debut at Nottingham but a flop in the Racing Post Trophy.

“Mengli Khan was disappointing at Doncaster but the ground was too soft for him,” said Palmer.

“He has done really well over the winter. He is a full-brother to Very Special who is now a multiple Group winner in Dubai.

“I think a mile and a quarter will be at least his trip, so the Dante is a possibility.

“Galileo Gold’s season is to start in a Guineas.

“Because he wants a little more give in the ground than he is possibly likely to get here in Newmarket, the plan, really for quite a long time, has been the French Guineas.”

Trainer Marco Botti has entered Mr Khalid, a seven-length winner of a Nottingham maiden on the second of his two previous starts.

He may be asked to prove himself worthy of a Dante spot with a handicap outing at Newmarket’s Craven meeting in a fortnight.

“He has done tremendously well over the winter. Physically, he’s a different horse to last year – much stronger and he has grown,” said Botti.

“I hope to maybe start him in the mile-and-a-quarter handicap at the Craven meeting to see if he could be a potential Group horse.

“Whether he is up to that level, we will take it step by step and find out.”