Penitent tops the Lincoln list

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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 was sent to O’Meara after being bought for 40,000 guineas by Middleham Park Racing.

“Penitent won the Lincoln off 98 and he’s off 108 now,” said O’Meara. “Middleham Park bought him and kindly sent him to us. 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 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. The Lincoln is not the be-all and end-all for Penitent. He wasn’t bought with a particular race in mind, we’ll just win what we can with him.”