Charlie Appleby hopes that class will outdo inexperience when Auxerre bids for glory in the Lincoln Handicap (15:35) at Doncaster this afternoon.

The Godolphin-owned gelding won three of his four starts last year, racking up a hat-trick after finishing second on his debut at Newmarket.

Appleby admits the Lincoln has been the target since the turn of the year, with Auxerre’s handicap mark seemingly an agreeable one. The trainer makes no secret of the fact that he believes his charge is going to be a Group-race performer in the future.

Auxerre is the 7/2 favourite with Betfred to win the Lincoln at Doncaster.

“Everything has gone well and he looks like a progressive performer. Hopefully it will be a nice, sound surface and if it is, he is going to be a lively player,” said the Newmarket handler.

“We looked at this race for him at the start of the year. We felt he was off the right mark for it. We had considered taking him to Dubai, but we thought we would leave him back in the UK and have this as an early-season target.

“We feel he still has more scope going forward. Whether he makes up to a Group-race horse, we will see further down the line. I feel he has got enough class to overcome his inexperience. Experience is one thing he doesn’t take into the race.”

Salstonstall, the sole Irish challenger, makes his debut for trainer Adrian McGuinness and is 9/1 to win, while South Seas looks a potential player for in-form trainer Phil Kirby and is 11/1 under Jamie Spencer in the Lincoln.

Appleby meanwhile will be hoping it is an afternoon to celebrate around the world, as his Old Persian is 13/8 favourite to win the Sheema Classic (16:00) on Dubai World Cup night at Meydan.

Odds subject to change.