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Stands' rail has best ground, but virgin strip on far side may be key.

Byline: Bruce Jackson

THE best ground on the straight course at

Doncaster yesterday was reported to be under the stands' rail-where two clear-cut winners have raced on the first two days-but jockeys

said the ground was sticky and testing, and

badly in need of a burst of rain to loosen it up for the big race.

However, Pat Eddery feels the near virgin ground on the far side of the course in the first three furlongs of the Lincoln mile could prove vital to maintain the good recent record of low-drawn horses in the big race.

Dean McKeown, who stuck like a limpet to the stands' rail on six-furlong winner Tom Tun, said: "There is a path next to the stands' rail which is definitely better ground.

"It is a surprise to me that they have gone for low numbers in the Lincoln-there must be something different about the ground that side in the first two furlongs."

Eddery certainly feels that is the case. "You still have to be drawn low," he said. "The first four furlongs on the far side is fresh ground. That makes the difference."

Franny Norton feels there is little difference in ground conditions after riding up both sides of the course on his mounts in the six-furlong race and the Spring Mile.

"The ground is the same for everyone. We just weren't good enough on the far side in the sprint and mine has stayed on well on the stands'

side in the mile. I am up in the air about the draw. I think it will be where the best horses race rather than anything to do with the ground."

nDoncaster report, page 86
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 23, 2002
Previous Article:Cole: Inspector General is stable pick above Nimello.
Next Article:Draw may have little effect if low numbers tack over.

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