DONCASTER is set to stage the first major race of the 2011 British Flat Season on turf - The William Hill Lincoln Heritage Handicap.
The race will be the highlight of a full weekend of racing on Town Moor this Saturday and Sunday.
There are seven races on both days with prize money of over £250,000 up for grabs.
The action on Saturday is set to begin at 2pm, while racing on Sunday starts at 2.15 pm.
The William Hill Lincoln – a famous Heritage Handicap over the straight mile which traditionally begins the new Flat season – offers prize money of £100,000.
One of the main betting races of the British season, the race was first held at Doncaster in 1965, and last year’s winner, Penitent, trained at Newmarket by Yorkshireman William Haggas, is a possible contender again.
Fellow Newmarket trainer, John Gosden (who sent out Expresso Star to win two years ago) is responsible for one of the leading fancies on Saturday, Taqleed, owned and bred by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum.
Leading Yorkshire-based trainer, Richard Fahey has several entries, including Irish Heartbeat, the winner of the William Hill Spring Mile on this day last year.
Saturday’s action begins with The William Hill Spring Mile – the ‘consolation’ race for horses entered for, but eliminated from the big race, while the Cammidge Trophy, a Listed race for talented sprinters over six furlongs, is named in honour of a former chairman of Doncaster Racecourse and Mayor of Doncaster, the late Albert Cammidge OBE.
Precocious two-year-olds are seen for the first time on turf in the traditional Brocklesby Conditions Stakes over the minimum distance of five furlongs.
Last year’s winner, Chiswick Bey, was one of a trio of winners on the day for trainer Richard Fahey, and provided jockey Paul Hanagan with one of his four winners during the afternoon; the Malton-based rider went on to be the Champion Jockey for the first time, accumulating 191 winners during the season.
Also featured on the opening day are the third running of The Bob Beevers Memorial Maiden Stakes (three-year-olds) and a handicap contest for apprentice jockeys supported by The Universal Recycling Company of Kilnhurst.
After racing on Saturday, there is live music in the Exhibition Hall.
William Hill also put their name to a trio of races on Sunday, including The Doncaster Shield (a Conditions race over one mile and a half) and a valuable handicap contest for sprinters over six furlongs. The opening race is The AJA Gentleman Amateur Riders’ Handicap Stakes, while maiden three-year-olds take part in a contest supported by the Crown Hotel at Bawtry.
The SEP Handicap Stakes and a handicap contest over the straight mile for fillies and mares supported by the Stobart Group complete the line-up on Sunday.
On Sunday there are special Mother’s Day packages in the Mallard and Conduit Restaurants, priced from £35.
The giant screen, situated opposite the main stands will enable racegoers to see all of the action. A shuttle bus service runs from the railway station.