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Charlie Fellowes confident King Ottokar will come good ahead of Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster

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Charlie Fellowes has always believed King Ottokar is a Group horse – and he is hoping 2021 is the year in which he is proven right.

After an impressive victory at Newbury in 2019, Fellowes had hoped the son of Motivator could force his way into that season’s Epsom Derby reckoning. It never materialised and since then the five-year-old has been dogged by a combination of poor form and bad luck.

However, ahead of his outing in Saturday’s Unibet Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster (3.10pm), Bedford House Stables-based Fellowes is confident there is still plenty more to come.

Newmarket-based trainer Charlie Fellowes
Newmarket-based trainer Charlie Fellowes

“Last year was a tough one for him and he was probably even more unlucky as a three-year-old,” he said.

“If you watch that Royal Ascot race over 10 furlongs again when he was three, you can’t believe he doesn’t end up winning.

“He stopped early as a three-year-old and got very heavy heading into last year. He found it tough and his head probably wasn’t completely in the game.

“We gelded him, which made a big difference, and so did using headgear.

“I don’t think we’ve seen anything near what he can really go on a race track.

“It will all come right from him, I’m sure of that. I still feel he’s a Group horse running in a handicap on Saturday.”

Traditionally there is a big field for the Lincoln – the feature event on the first Saturday of Britain’s turf flat racing season.

Fellowes feels that will suit King Ottokar, as will the one-mile distance at a course like Doncaster.

“It should be tailor-made for him. He suits a big field and the flat track at Doncaster is perfect for him,” he added. “The softer the ground the better for him as well.

“He’s a had a smooth winter and a holiday, which he’s never had before.

“He’s come back in good time and trained really well. All our ducks are in a row, and hopefully he comes good at the weekend.”

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