Penitent tops Lincoln list
David O’Meara is looking to Penitent and Smarty Socks to get his season off to a flying start in the William Hill Lincoln at Doncaster on Saturday.
This time last season O’Meara was very much a new kid on the block, but his stables at Nawton in North Yorkshire continue to expand and he is approaching the first major race of the campaign with two live outsiders in the Lincoln.
Penitent won the race in 2010 when trained by William Haggas, but was sent to O’Meara after being bought for 40,000 guineas by Middleham Park Racing. Smarty Socks is a standing dish of the yard, having shot up the handicap last term.
“Penitent won the Lincoln off 98 and he’s off 108 now,” said O`Meara.
“We haven’t had him long, Middleham Park bought him and kindly sent him to us. The two horses are very different – Smarty loves firm ground, while Penitent likes a bit of cut.
“One’s a former winner while the other is at the top of his game and now running off 102 and has to improve again. Penitent has been there and done it and has slipped down (the ratings) a bit.
“We didn’t expect Smarty Socks to break through the 100 barrier last year and he did so it’s anyone’s guess as to how much he’ll find this year.
“Penitent has won a Listed race at Sandown on good ground so he doesn’t have to have it soft but I don’t think he’d run on good to firm. The Lincoln is not the be-all and end-all for Penitent. He`s got options in France and as he likes cut in the ground he`s likely to get it there.
“He wasn’t bought with a particular race in mind, we’ll just win what we can with him.”
Written by Mar 27th, 2012.on