MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU, WILL; RACING: TRAINER TO BREAK HIS DUCK.
Byline: GARY NUTTING
WILLIAM HAGGAS is hot on the Lincoln trail again and he better get it right as he trains the favourite Mange All for his dad!
Haggas and his father Brian teamed up to win the Flat season's 'curtain-raiser' in 1992 with High Low, since when the stable has landed the prize for different owners with Very Wise (2007) and Penitent in 2010.
But whereas High Low was bought at the sales to run in Brian's familiar white, black and red colours, a victory for Mange All would be extra special as he's a home-bred and it would equal Jack Robinson's 105-year-old record of winning the race four times as a trainer.
"It's a race I like to target if I've got the right horse and straight after Mange All had finished fourth over nine furlongs in the Silver Cambridgeshire last autumn I said to myself it's the Lincoln for him next," revealed Haggas.
"He looked dangerous a furlong out that day so the drop back in trip should suit him and I've been pleased with the way he's been training.
"You need a bit of luck with the draw over the straight mile at Doncaster, but he's a lightlyraced four-year-old, open to more improvement and pretty versatile ground-wise so looks the ideal type."
With Lester Piggott as fatherin-law and his late mother Christine Feather the owner of 1982 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Silver Buck, it's no great surprise that Haggas has made it to the top of the tree in his profession.
He's won the Derby and Oaks with Shaamit and Dancing Rain, and trains for some of the world's leading owners, including Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, for whom he landed last year's Eclipse with Mukhadram.
Yet his big-race breakthrough was achieved with one of his dad's horses, Bog Trotter, in the 1990 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, so it's fitting they are set to return there with the Lincoln favourite on Saturday week.
"There's no extra pressure training for my father - win, lose or draw he's just the same," said Haggas. "But he's been lucky with the horses he's bred, so hopefully there are more wins in store for Mange All.
"He wanted to call him Mange Tout (after his dam Blancmange) but that name was already taken. He thinks he came up with an amusing alternative, although I'm not so sure!
"Luckily the horse doesn't know what his name is and he's already done us proud with two wins, including at Ascot last summer."
Mange All could well return there for the Hunt Cup at the Royal meeting, while the fiveday June bonanza is also likely to feature on the agenda of classy stablemates Muthmir and Mutakayyef.
Muthmir is being lined up for top sprinting honours after winning major handicaps at York and Doncaster last season, while Mutakayyef is expected to build on the promise he's shown in Group races at around a mile and a quarter.
READY TO GIVE IT HIS ALL: Mange All (right) is Haggas' big hope