Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap Tips

betfred-cesarewitch-handicap-tips

John Wootton: Racing on the Round Course at Newmarket c 1750

Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap 2m 2f Newmarket Saturday – The Cesarewitch isn’t the longest flat race in the Calendar but is certainly one of the most stamina sapping. Starting in Cambridgeshire, the 2m2f contest takes a sharp right hand turn, and the large field then has to endure a non-stop relentless gallop up the Rowley Mile, to finish in the neighbouring county of Suffolk. Faced with such a challenge it comes as no great surprise, that almost invariably, the winner boasts previous winning form at two miles on the Flat or over hurdles. Surprisingly for such a long race the draw has proved significant, with thirteen of the sixteen winners this century starting from a berth lower than nineteen. Another relevant statistic is that half the winners in the same period have come from yards predominantly National Hunt in character, a stat which makes David Pipe’s 5yo, Starchitect, of definite interest.

Pipe Junior has never won the race, (has gone close on two occasions) but his father Martin hit the back of the net twice, (Heros Fatal, 2000 and Miss Fara two years later) so they certainly know what is required down at Nicholashayne. Starchitect is a beautifully bred animal, by Sea the Stars out of a Sadlers Wells mare, and he is better known for his achievements as a hurdler. He came second in the hugely competitive Betfair Hurdle at Newbury in Febuary, and put up solid performances at both the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals. He demonstrated his stamina credentials for this when winning over 21f in his last outing over hurdles, earning the impressive NH rating of 150. He won the last of his five flat starts, a 14f Salisbury handicap in May, earning a rating of 89 and virtually assuring himself of a place in Saturday’s contest. In the light of his NH rating he looks really well treated, and it will come as no surprise to see him involved at the business end on Saturday.

Read the Oddsguru’s 2015 race preview.

Sir Mark Prescott’s 3yo colt St Michael, ran a fine race to finish 3rd in a truly run, 2m2f Doncaster Cup, twenty nine days ago, finishing 3rd, a nose and 2 1/4L behind Sheikzayedroad and Quest for More, and, as the latter won the Group1 Prix du Cadran at Chantilly last Saturday, the form looks pretty impressive. As St Michael stuck on well at Doncaster, and had won his two previous races authoritatively, with only 8st6lbs on his back at the weekend, he certainly looks well treated, and is a worthy favourite. However he does need four above him in the handicap to come out if he is to get a run, so a waiting brief is advised.

Horses who have performed well in The Cesarewitch often do so again, so connections of last year’s hero Grumeti, must be hoping that at least three above him drop out, and he gets a run. He hasn’t exactly been setting the world alight following last years triumph, but he has had a nice break since June and is only 1lb higher than last year. A repeat of last years 50/1 victory is not just a forlorn hope!

Tony Martin won this with Leg Spinner in 2007 and attempts to bring home the bacon for the second time with the very useful Pyromaniac. The 6yo looks well treated on a mark of 87, and he ran a sound race last time, going down by a neck to stable companion, Quick Jack over 14f at Leopardstown four weeks ago off the same mark.The question is will he stay, as he has been campaigned mostly at distances shorter than 2m. However he did win his only race over two miles, a highly competitive Curragh handicap back in May 2015, and more recently was seen finishing to some effect in a strongly run Killarney 17f handicap hurdle, to take third place. He has been finishing his races off well, and it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that his uber-shrewd handler thinks that his contender might well be suited by this step up in trip. Another for the shortlist!

David Simcock runs his strong stayer, The Cashel Man, and the 4yo gelding did his prospects no harm at all when coming home in second place in the trial for this three weeks ago, which was run over the course and distance. He was beaten 3L off Saturday’s mark of 89, but as the race was very steadily run, in a time more than 15 seconds slower than standard, and the horse suffered interference 4f out, he can only benefit from a much truer run contest at the weekend. Worth considering!

The 9yo Irish mare, Jennies Jewel has won three of her seven flat races, including this year’s Ascot Stakes over 20f at the Royal Meeting. She showed courage in abundance that day, making all, and holding on to deny Qewy by a neck. She was beaten early on in a heavy ground 2m Curragh handicap three weeks ago, but after more than three months off the racecourse she is easily excused. This admirable Grade3 winning chaser, and Grade1 placed hurdler, racing on Saturday off a mark only 5lbs higher than Royal Ascot, could make her presence felt, particularly if we get some rain.

Selection: Starchitect

E.W. : The Cashel Man

Advertisements
Darley July Cup Betting Tips

Darley July Cup Betting Tips

Darley July Cup Group1 6f Newmarket Saturday – Nine 3yo’s have lifted the July Cup since 1990 and two of this year’s classic generation have the potential to make it ten. Of serious interest are the Aidan O’Brien trained Air Force Blue, and Karl Burke’s flying filly, Quiet Reflection. The former, winner of three Group1 races at two (one at 6f), ended the season as the top rated 2yo, but so far this season has been disappointing. He was sent off the 4/5 favourite for the 2000gns but trailed in second last, 15L behind the winner, and did even worse in the Irish equivalent finishing nearly 20L out the back. However plenty of winners of the July Cup in the 1970s and 1980s, having failed to stay the mile, found their true metier in the sprinting game, and indeed two of Aidan’s previous three winners, Stravinsky 1999 and Mozart 2001, fit this profile. By War Front, Air Force Blue needs good ground, so with the forecast for a dry weekend, he is well worth considering.

Karl Burke’s daughter of Showcasing, Quiet Reflection, changed hands as a 2yo for £44,000, and having banked over £400,000  from her six victories, including two Group3s, a Group2, and last time, that scintillating win in the Group1 Commonwealth Cup at the Royal Meeting, she has proved a rare bargain. Always travelling comfortably within herself, she quickened impressively inside the final furlong to win in the style of a really high class filly. Two slight reservations about her prospects on Saturday would be, that she seems to need a little ease in the ground and secondly, that no 3yo filly has won since Habibti in 1983. However Burke’s filly looks a really exceptional animal and given any cut in the ground has to be on the short list.

Clive Cox has supplemented his Kings Stand winner, Profitable, (tipped by Oddsguru) at a cost of £40,000 for Saturday’s contest, and if getting the extra furlong, the son of Invincible Spirit would be a danger to all. He certainly wasn’t stopping at Ascot, and considering his shrewd trainers decision to spend connections cash so lavishly, they must be pretty confident that the tough Profitable will last home. However the stats are against him as no winner of the Kings Stand has doubled up in the last twenty years and winning form at the trip has been a must.(The Cox horse was unplaced in his only attempt at 6f).

Since 1970, thirteen winners have come from the 6f Diamond Jubilee Stakes and the winner, fourth and fifth of this year’s renewal are of definite interest. The winner, Henry Candy’s 4yo colt Twilight Son won on merit, turning around  4 1/2L deficit on previous York running with Magical Memory, but he did have conditions to suit. Soft ground is ideal and with the barometer rising may find the going too fast. However this winner of six of his eight races, two at the top level, is clearly improving at a rate of knots, and does have a victory on Gd/Fm over 6f at Headquarters, (Rowley) on his c.v.

Fourth in the Diamond Jubilee, Magical Memory was less than 1/2L behind Twilight son on the unsuitably sticky surface, and as he also wasn’t the recipient of one of Frankie Dettori’s better rides, hopes are high, that given good ground, placings can be reversed. He showed he can handle the undulations of the course when taking the valuable 3yo handicap on the card last year, so a repeat of his excellent York performance when beating Suedois and Danzeno should see him go close.

Another who will appreciate faster conditions is Henry Candy’s second string, Limato.

This 4yo gelding returns to 6f for the first time since finishing second in last year’s Group1 Commonwealth Cup and is actually rated 2lbs higher than Twilight Son. There has been plenty of interest in the him in the market so given fast ground must be worth considering.

Cotai Glory took everyone by surprise when running such a fine race in the Kings Stand on what was considered unsuitably soft ground. A 33/1 shot, he closed over 1f out and ran on strongly to get within a neck of Profitable. He has only raced over 6f twice, finishing second to Limato in a listed race at Newbury as a 2yo. Hailing from the same yard as Magical Memory, trainer Hills is quite bullish about his prospects, noting how well he was staying on all the way up the hill at Ascot. Given fast ground at the weekend, another to consider!

Selection:  Magical Memory

E.W. : Cotai Glory

Qipco 1000gns Stakes Betting Tips

Qipco 1000gns Stakes Betting Tips 1m Newmarket Sunday

The Young Master kept the Oddsguru ball rolling in fine style when winning last week’s bet365 Gold Cup at odds of 8/1. He had been available at odds of 14/1 at the time of writing, but let’s not be greedy! He ran a brave race under talented amateur, and part owner, Sam Waley-Cohen. Having got the last fence wrong he was headed by the runner up but battled back bravely to get the decision in the shadow of the post. He clearly relished the marathon trip and bearing in mind Waley-Cohen’s outstanding record over the Grand National fences he is definitely one to keep in mind for next years Aintree Showpiece.

We can be fairly certain that none of Sunday’s 1000gns contenders will ever be asked to jump over the spruce at Aintree, but one thing we can be sure of, is that the winner at the weekend will have covered the eight furlongs of the Rowley Mile in under 100 seconds. The great Henry Cecil had a fantastic record in the race, winning it six times, and the only trainer on Sunday to come close, is French handler, Criquette Head-Maarek. She has won it four times, most recently with Special Duty in 2010 and seeks a fifth with Midweek. Her representative is a filly by Motivator out of a Danzig mare and is a half sister to that very useful miler, (RPR 119) Confront. She has already demonstrated her ability to get a mile, winning over the distance at Saint-Cloud last September and perhaps, just as significantly, in this cold and wet spring, she has had the benefit of a run, which may well confer an advantage over her unraced peers. She was second in a 7f Gp3 (heavy) Maisons-Laffitte contest three weeks ago, where she stayed on nicely. While needing to show considerable improvement to trouble the judge on Sunday, in the hands of genius Criquette, it would come as no surprise if she did.

Irish maestro Aidan O’Brien has won the 1000gns twice and fields three, the hot favourite, Minding, Ballydoyle, and Alice Springs. Minding wound up her 2yo campaign with a most impressive win in the Group1 Fillies Mile over course and distance (good/soft) last October, where she came home 4 1/2L in front of Sunday’s opponent Nathra. Prior to that she had beaten stable companion Ballydoyle by 3/4L in a Group1 over 7f at the Curragh, and as the runner up went on to win the Group1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp, the form is rock solid. While Minding does seem to have outstanding claims, it is worth remembering that both of O’Briens previous winners did have the benefit of a previous outing, and many, including her trainer, think that she may well be suited by further.

Ballydoyle, who is reported to be working well, and already boasts a victory over the favourite, (7f Gd/fm) cannot be easily dismissed, but she probably needs top of the ground conditions to excel, so perhaps the third stable representative, Alice Springs is of more interest. A 550,000gns yearling, this Galileo filly, with eight races under her belt is not short of experience, and has run well at the top level, particularly at Keenland in the States last October, where despite being denied the clearest of runs she ran on well to get within 3/4L of the winner, Catch A Glimpse, in a Grade 1 contest. She has had the benefit of a run, at Leopardstown three weeks ago, where she was sent off the 5/4 favourite in a Group3, contest. She was dropped out in the early stages, and left with too much to do on the heavy ground, wasn’t given a hard race. She did come home strongly to finish 3rd and is bound to have benefited from the run. It would come as no surprise to see her outrun her odds of 20/1!

Mark Johnston, trainer of Lumiere is very bullish about the chance of this daughter of Shamardal. She has only run three times, all over 6f. Having won at Newmarket in July she probably found Yorks easy 6f an insufficient test when finishing second, but back at headquarters ran on gamely to take the Group1 Chevely Park Stakes. Her half sister won over 12f and her dam was a wide margin winner over 7f on her only start as a 2yo, so there is plenty of positives on the distaff for Sunday’s trip. Her style of racing also strongly suggests that a mile will suit, so Master Trainer Johnston could well be leading in his second 1000gns winner at the Weekend.

Another, who is sure to have benefited from a race this miserable Spring, is John Gosden’s Iffraaj filly, Nathra. She was put firmly in her place in The Fillies Mile by Minding but may not have been best suited by the hold up tactics employed by Dettori. She was quite impressive three weeks ago when ridden closer to the pace, and she won easily under a hands and heels ride, running on well over 7f at Newmarket. Gosden won this with Lahan in 2000 so knows what is required, and must have high hopes of bringing up the double on Sunday.

Selection : Lumiere

E.W. : Alice springs (if abs. Nathra)

Cambridgeshire Handicap Tips Newmarket (Rowley) 1m1f Saturday

Cambridgeshire Betting Preview.

Sir Michael Stoute’s 5yo gelding Abseil is our tip to land Saturday’s big one.

I suspect it may be some time before F. Berry gets the leg up on another Chapple-Hyam horse after the ride he gave last week’s selection, Buckstay, in the Ayr Gold Cup. Held up out the back with the washing, he had to come from an impossible position, but finished best of all, going down by less than a length in fifth place. Not one of Fran’s greatest rides! Having got that off our chest let’s have a look at Saturday’s cavalry charge at Newmarket.

Weight as we know is a great leveller, and only one horse, (Educate, 9st9lbs, 2013) has defied a burden above 9st5lbs since Cap Juluca won with the steadier of 9st12lbs twenty years ago. Indeed thirteen winners in the same period carried less than 9st. As always in these big handicaps, plenty of experience of racing in large fields is a must. An ability to stay further than Saturday’s nine furlongs is a definite plus with many previous winners having form over ten furlongs and further on their C.V.’s. A decent performance in their most recent outing has been of paramount significance, with hardly any of the last thirty five winners failing to perform in their penultimate race. With thirty five runners spread across Newmarket Heath you would expect the draw to be of some significance, but this has rarely been the case, and indeed in last years renewal the shd second was drawn on the other side of the track to the winner.

That winner, the now 6yo Bronze Angel, tries for an unprecedented third win in the one hundred and seventy six years old handicap. The 2012, and 2013 winner, does thrive in the Autumn, and showed his treble aspirations were no forlorn hope when winning a Doncaster handicap last time off a mark of 104. Ridden by 3lbs claimer, Louis Steward, he won by 1 1/2L from that good yardstick Man Of Harlech. As his two previous wins were achieved off 95 and 99 he does seem to be up against it off his new mark of 108, but the Newmarket race does seem to bring out the best in him, so this 6yo warrior is not easily passed over.

Sir Michael Stoute’s 5yo gelding Abseil catches the eye. He looked a tad unlucky last time at Epsom in June over 1m1/2f when racing off a mark of 99 he finished a nk and 3/4L behind Grazie, and Andrew Baldings filly Merry Me. As the Balding filly has gone on to aquit herself well at listed and pattern level, the lightly raced Abseil, who meets Merry Me on 4lbs better than Epsom, doesn’t look badly treated off a mark of 100. His run at Epsom suggested that further would suit, and as he clearly goes well after a break, is short listed.

Michael Halford’s 3yo Teofilo colt Portage won a Cl2 Ascot handicap in July off a mark of 90 (1m sft) and ran a decent race last time at the Curragh, finishing second to the 5yo Hint of a Tint, with the useful Brendan Bracken back in fifth, off a mark of 98. Set to race off the same mark at the weekend, giving him a nice racing weight of 8st7lbs, and with William Buick in the plate he looks another well worth considering.

David O’Meara’s 5yo Dylan Thomas gelding, Earth Drummer ran well when finishing 6th in a 1m2 1/2f, fifteen runner, York handicap last time out. He looked to have a chance at the furlong post but probably didn’t quite get home and went down by 4L. In his previous race at Ascot over 8f he was beaten a half length by Halation, whom he meet on a pound better terms on Saturday. His very talented trainer may well feel that Saturday’s intermediate trip will suit,and with stable jockey Tudhope up, is another well worth considering.

Can Richard Fahey cap a great season by winning with his progressive 3yo gelding Third Time Lucky? Rated 91 after a close fourth in a Goodwood handicap at the end of July he probably needed to win at Thirsk three weeks ago to get into Saturday’s contest and did so in style. Leading on the bit over a furlong out, he went clear, and despite being heavily eased in the closing stages was still 3 1/2L clear at the line. Saturday’s examination will obviously be rather more rigorous, but clearly the Fahey gelding is on a sharp upward curve and with his light weight of 8st4lbs, it will be no surprise if he adds to the Malton Maestro’s burgeoning C.V.

Selection : Abseil.

E.W. : Third Time Lucky.