Gabrial's Kaka: represents Richard Fahey along with GabrialPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Fahey fancies pair but warns of 'Group' horse
TRADITIONALLY the first major race of the Flat turf season, the Betway Lincoln remains a fierce betting heat and provides the opening leg of the spring double, which is completed by the Crabbie's Grand National.
Mange All, trained by William Haggas, who has plundered the £100,000 prize three times via Penitent (2010), Very Wise (2007) and High Low (1992), has been at the head of the ante-post market for many weeks and, with only seven races under his belt, looks a lightly raced improver who fits the profile of many a recent winner.
The John Gosden-trained GM Hopkins, who had Mange All in fourth when landing Newmarket's Silver Cambridge-shire last September, looks another strong candidate.
Owner Marwan Koukash loves these big handicaps and his Gabrial's Kaka attracted hefty support on Thursday after receiving what is widely perceived to be an excellent draw in stall 22, hard against the stands' rail.
Tempest back for more
Ocean Tempest, who kept on strongly under Adam Kirby to win the race 12 months ago by a length and three-quarters from Tullius, defends his crown with 5lb claimer Joe Doyle on board this time.
Bill and Jack are Baker's boys
George Baker would love to win this famous cavalry charge as a trainer, having been a big fan of the race since he first became interested in the sport. He is double-handed with Belgian Bill and Jack's Revenge, the latter back for his third consecutive crack at the prize. He has finished fifth and seventh so far.
What they say
Marcus Tregoning, trainer of Bronze Angel and Boom And Bust
I am worried about the ground for Bronze Angel - a few more showers might turn it soft. It's a tall order with so much weight and it is quite early in the year for him, but he looks well and the draw is fine. Last year was a washout for Boom And Bust. He was never firing and needs to get back on track.
John Ryan, trainer of Ocean Tempest
He's in good form and goes there fit and well. Kirsty Milczarek has been riding him at home and she says he's never felt better. The draw is okay - there is pace either side - but I would be happier if they had a bit more rain. The ground is the big question mark. The drier it is the more it will bring others into the picture.
William Knight, trainer of Fire Ship
I'd rather be drawn where we are [stall 3] than in the middle because he likes to do his own thing. This has been the plan and we've enjoyed a clear preparation. My worry is the ground won't be soft enough for him - the more rain the better.
Ed Dunlop, trainer of Zarwaan
He has attracted plenty of attention. We have always liked him and he arguably didn't have much luck last year. He was placed in lots of races and ran well in the Britannia. He had a problem after Newmarket and didn't run again. He has been gelded over the winter and had a trouble-free run. The ground should be perfect.
George Baker, trainer of Belgian Bill and Jack's Revenge
Belgian Bill has come back from Dubai in great shape. He was in the form of his life out there and if he runs to that level I'd be hopeful. Jack's Revenge has run very well in the race in the last two years, not beaten far both times. It's a cliche, but he deserves a big one.
Richard Fahey, trainer of Gabrial's Kaka and Gabrial
I wouldn't have a preference between them. If it ended up quite soft I would be keen on Kaka, but on good ground I couldn't split them. They are two hardy pros, but if Haggas, Gosden or Dunlop are bringing a Group horse ours won't beat them. I'm happy enough with the draw for them.
Richard Hannon, trainer of Emell
He finished second in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood so has a touch of class. The last time he was in a handicap off this mark  he finished second to Garswood in the Free Handicap at Newmarket. The downside could be his draw  - the far rail might not be the place to be.
John Gosden, trainer of GM Hopkins
We have planned to run him in this since last autumn. He is drawn high and I will tell you after the race if that is a good thing. His preparation has gone well; he is in good order for the race. As long as the ground has some give he should be happy enough.
Eve Johnson Houghton, trainer of What About Carlo
He's in great form and it's a good starting point for him. His draw  is fine - we have the option of going either side - and any rain won't bother him.