Cesarewitch Handicap

Spotlight On The 2017 Cesarewitch Handicap

The Cesarewitch Handicap is run over 2m2f on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course and is one of the most popular betting races at the latter end of the flat racing calendar. Over thirty runners usually go to post. The race is also referred to as the second leg of the autumn double. The “first leg” of the autumn double, the Cambridgeshire, was won by Martyn Meade’s outsider, Dolphin Vista at 50/1.

Will something at similar odds prevail on Saturday?

Here is a brief runner-by-runner guide to the mammoth 34 runner field.

 

Fun Mac (25/1)

Hughie Morrison, who won the race twelve months ago with Sweet Selection, sends out Fun Mac again this year. He could only finish in 20th place last year and will have to improve considerably.

 

Magic Circle (16/1)

Was somewhat of an enigma at York Ebor meeting, winning a two mile handicap on the Wednesday before running another cracking race to finish fifth in the Ebor on the Saturday.

 

Watersmeet (25/1)

Hasn’t won on the turf since May 2015 and has failed to build upon some good A.W form gained last winter.

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Laws Of Spin (16/1)

Laws Of Spin just came out on top in a thrilling finish to the Irish Cesarewitch last month and Willie Mullins will be hoping to land the English equivalent with his four-year-old.

 

Tawdeaa (40/1)

Previous winner of the Old Newton Cup and has amassed £100k in prize money but very much out of form this season.

 

Endless Acres (12/1)

Trained by Charlie Fellowes, the improving four-year-old has not been seen since finishing second to Thomas Hobson at Royal Ascot in June. Tends to go well fresh.

 

First Mohican (33/1)

Second in this race last year and has been given a long break since Royal Ascot. Could easily outrun his odds.

 

Snow Falcon (16/1)

The versatile Snow Falcon, a six-time winner in the NH sphere and a two-time winner on the flat, comes here on the back of running second in the Irish Cesarewitch last Sunday.

 

Mirsaale (40/1)

The Keith Dalgleish-trained gelding , who ran in the 2013 Derby, won at Kelso last time out and comes here fighting fit. Another who could run well at big odds.

 

Who Dares Wins (10/1)

Who Dares Wins got the better of his Alan King-trained stablemate Coeur De Lion to win the Cesarewitch Trial at Newmarket.  He carries a 4lb for that success.

 

Shrewd (16/1)

Has been campaigned with the Cesarewitch as his end-of-season target. He was runner-up to Heartbreak City in last year’s Ebor and ran 12th in this last season. Iain Jardine is certainly very much like his runner...shrewd!

 

London Prize (16/1)

London Prize has not been seen since winning the Northumberland Vase at Newcastle in July and is another good dual-purpose performer.  Ian Williams is in good form at the moment too.

 

Getback In Paris (33/1)

Had been running some consistent races over the summer for trainer Richard Hughes before getting bogged down in the heavy going at Haydock last time out.

 

Byron Flyer (20/1)

He finished second for the fourth time in succession on his latest run and keeps finding one just too good. He does however have an abundance of stamina, having recorded a 2m4f win over hurdles.

 

Digeanta (33/1)

Winner of the Irish Cesarewitch in 2015 but there is very little to recommend the ten-year-old on this season.

 

Oceane (33/1)

Alan King, who won the Cesarewitch with Grumeti at 50/1, also saddles Oceane for the same ownership.  Big doubts whether he stays however.

 

Time To Study (12/1)

Dug deep to win the Mallard Handicap at Doncaster beating Byron Flyer and Shrewd in the process. Ran well on heavy at Haydock prior to that so should have no problem with the distance.

 

Lagostovegas (12/1)

Lagostovegas was third behind stablemate Whiskey Sour in a valuable two-mile flat handicap at Galway in July.  Ryan Moore gets the nod which may be a tip in itself.

Euchen Glen (16/1)

Ran a close third to Magic Circle at York last time out on the back of beating Byron Flyer in the Shergar Cup Stayers race. Respected.

 

Star Rider (33/1)

Bred to stay and was the winner of the Goodwood Stakes in 2016 beating Percy Veer and Oceane. Has shown none of that old sparkle this season and returns after a break.

 

Swamp Fox (14/1)

Swamp Fox went down by a neck in the Galway Hurdle and now switches to the flat to avenge that heartbreaking defeat. Definitely has all the credentials to be a major player in this.

 

Swashbuckle (33/1)

Swashbuckle got the better of Sternrubin at Salisbury in June but has underperformed in two subsequent runs since. Would not be the biggest surprise if he put in a good show.

 

Dubawi Fifty (12/1)

This lightly-raced four-year-old has won his last two starts in the style of an improving stayer, but he has not run since mid-August in order to protect his handicap mark.  Former jump-jockey Graham Lee takes the ride for Karen McLintock.

 

Taws (33/1)

Likeable mare who picked up a couple of wins at Chepstow on softish going in August. They type to be running on late in the day but probably too late.

 

John Constable (8/1)

John Constable hacked up in Haydock's Swinton Hurdle off a mark of 134 before making defying a 16lb rise in the Summer Handicap Hurdle at Market Rasen. Evan Williams’ six-year-old looks thrown in and is an understandable favourite.

 

Poyle Thomas (66/1)

The eight-year-old last won in 2014 when trained by Ralph Beckett. Has looked very poor this season for his new trainer.

 

Frederic (50/1)

Rooney! Rooney! No, not that one- Paul and Clare Rooney own this one but their flat adventures have not been quite as fruitful as their jump ones. This is a tough ask for the six-year-old.

 

Duke Street (25/1)

A decent hurdler for the good Doctor and has previously scored on the flat. Hector Crouch takes off a useful 3lb and the 25/1 on offer will tempt a fair few to follow.

 

Cape Caster (66/1)

Also representing Evan Williams but is nowhere in the same league as the favourite John Constable.

Cape Caster

Arthur Mc Bride (33/1)

Picked up an all the way success at Goodwood in the soft at Goodwood in September but is unlikely to get his optimum conditions on Saturday.

 

Withhold (10/1)

Withhold looks to have been laid out for this by Roger Charlton. Successful over 2m at Haydock a year ago he should get all the assistance he needs from champion-elect Silvestre De Sousa.

 

Friday Night Light (40/1)

Martin Pipe won this race twice with Miss Fara and Heros Fatal whilst David has come close with Mamlook who finished second and third in the race in 2008 and 2009. This runner would prefer more cut in the ground one would suspect.

 

Aurora Gray (25/1)

Came second to Cool Sky in attritional conditions in the Goodwood Handicap and has been running consistently all season. Will run off a favourable 8st 3lbs after Charlie Bennett takes off his riding allowance.

 

Rolling Maul (40/1)

The nine-year-old has been a revelation since switching codes, making it three wins from three on the Flat before running a poor race at Ffos Las on the heavy going. He comes into this race with no weight at all on his back - can he make the most of it?

 

Summary

Invariably it pays to side with trainers with dual-purpose runners in this race and there is a plethora of them to choose from in this marathon contest.

Evan Williams’ John Constable holds a profile that could easily see him demolishing this field but things aren’t always that straight forward in horse racing.

Mirsaale and Duke Street look like really decent each-way bets and complete our trio against the field.

888sport suggests: John Constable, Mirsaale and Duke Street (all E/W).