Plenty to think about for this year’s Cesarewitch
There are plenty to consider in a wide-open Cesarewitch, the betting highlight of Newmarket’s first October meeting, but punters should be aware that this contest has thrown up a few shocks in the last decade, with a pair of 66/1 winners and one at 50/1 in that time.
There have also been a brace of winning favourites, and given that the race regularly has a field in excess of thirty, that’s a perfectly respectable return.
Low Key appears set to head the market on the day, and David Pipe’s charge has obvious claims having bolted up in last month’s C&D trial, for which he only has a 4 lb penalty. He stays the trip, at least in a steadily run race, and is well handicapped on the basis of that success.
It’s worth noting that he’s also been much improved over timber of late, and successful hurdlers have an excellent record in the ‘Ces’. On the flipside, he’s well found in the market already, and there is plenty which can go wrong in a race of this nature.
The best reason to avoid him at the prices is his draw in stall twenty, and if there’s one method of sorting the wheat from the chaff here, it’s by concentrating on those drawn in single figures, and those so berthed account for the vast majority of winners and placed runners over this C&D in the past twenty years.
Gavlar was over six lengths adrift of Low Key here last month, and appears to have a tough task in attempting to turn the tables, but he came from a poor position there, and might do better in a strongly run race.
He’s well drawn close to the inside rail, and is of some interest to value seekers, a remark which also applies to Queen Alexandra winner Oriental Fox, who is the class act in the field, and hails from the yard which sent out Scatter Dice to score at 66/1 two years ago.
Nearly Caught was a creditable sixth in this a year ago, and he would be much shorter in the betting but for a blip in the Ebor at York. That race had a strange feel to it, however, and it’s easy to forgive Hughie Morrison’s charge that poor effort, especially as his CV is packed with solid form in big staying handicaps.
Drawn in twenty for last season’s race, he’s better berthed in six here, and looks a bit too big at around 20/1.
Heartbreak City merits a strong mention, and could well end up Tony Martin’s best hope having fared much better with the draw that stablemates Cassells Rock and Quick Jack, but that advantage is negated in part by his come-from-behind tactics, which will be harder to pull off here than they were at York last time.
Perhaps the best of those drawn low is Sir Mark Prescott’s William of Orange, who was only seventh in the Doncaster Cup last month, but had little chance at the weights on Town Moor, and may even have produced a career best in defeat. He was ridden from the front there, but is likely to accept a lead here, and ought to be a bit tighter for that outing, his first in over six weeks.
Prescott has never won this race, but he’s been unlucky in that regard, with hotpot Alleluiah injured when the hottest of favourites, and luck conspiring against such classy sorts as Pallasator, No Refuge and Inglis Drever.
He’s had his strongest ever hand in the race this time around, with any number of progressive stayers entered, and he has whittled that team down to four. Of the quartet, all are respected, but William of Orange brings the most convincing credentials, and looks the one to end the baronet’s long drought.
Selection: William of Orange
Danger: Nearly Caught (alternative Oriental Fox)
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.