THINGS are starting to pick up on the jumps racing front but we aren’t quite done with the flat racing yet.
A race that seems to bridge the gap between the two codes quite nicely is the Cesarewitch handicap – a real test for staying handicappers over 2 miles 2 furlongs that often attracts class horses that also run over the jumps.
I have two selections in that race and a few other picks elsewhere in both jumps and flat contests.
MY LORD AND MASTER looks a really good price to get us off and running today. Danny Tudhope steps in to take the ride after a disappointing run last time out when has slowly away and didn’t get much going for him. He has been dropped 3lb for that run which is fair. He has won on soft ground before (with Tudhope on board) and still has plenty of potential with this only his 7th run.
It’s Daniel Tudhope that I turn to again here with a horse we have backed before to varying degrees of success. AL QAHWA likes it here at York and crucially he is at his best on soft ground which we now have this morning. He is a rock solid each way bet for me because he is so consistent under these conditions.
The Cesarewitch was first run back in 1839 and was given its name because the Tsar of Russia put up £300 sponsorship for the race.
Today it is one of the most competitive staying flat handicaps in Europe with a prize pool of £500,000.
There are some with obvious chances near the top of the betting like Stratum, Southern France and Limini but with over 30 runners and lots of extra place offers available I am looking for something at bigger odds that gives us a bit of value.
The two that I like are KLOUD GATE and STARS OVER THE SEA. The former was second to Stratum in the JLT Handicap at Newbury earlier in the season and arrives here on better handicap terms but is a huge price. Granted that piece of form isn’t the strongest but today’s conditions shoulfnsuit and Gary Moore really knows how to target one.
Stars Over The Sea for Ian Williams is even more intriguing. He absolutely skooshed up last time out and whilst the jockeys in behind gave him too much rope out in front it was still a nice win in a prep race and there is no better trainer than Ian Williams than targeting a horse at a big handicap like this. His price is far too big with all the extra place offers available.
POET’S VANITY for Andrew Balding looks like one of the likely winners of this race to me on ratings and recent form. She won a decent handicap last time out and was a Group winner as a 2 year old so this race is well within her grasp. Oisin Murphy in the plate is a nice bonus. I think you can discount a good chunk of these based on ratings and Poet’s Vanity looks great to me at a double figure price.
A cracking race in prospect here for National Hunt fans with a Class 1 handicap hurdle over 2.5 miles. Henry Daly is a remarkable trainer who perhaps flies under the radar at times because he doesn’t have as many runners as the big powerful yards. He really gets the best out of his horses though and his strike rate is excellent. In the last 14 days for example he has had 3 winners from 6 runners. His runner today is WHATMORE who won three times last season in his novice year but comes here on what looks like a fair mark to me. With the yard in such good form I expected his price to be a good bit shorter than it is and I’m hoping Henry can work another bit of magic.
- York 2.05 – My Lord and Master – 1pt e/w (9-1, Coral, Ladbrokes, Betfair all paying 4 places)
- York 2.40 – Al Qahwa – 2pt e/w (6-1, Betfred, Paddy Power, Betfair all paying 5 places)
- Newmarket 3.40 – Kloud Gate – 0.5pt e/w (50-1, William Hill paying 8 places each way)
- Newmarkey 3.40 – Stars Over The Sea – 1pt e/w (28-1, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Coral all paying 7 places)
- Newmarket 4.50 – Poet’s Vanity – 2pt e/w (11/1, Betfair, Paddy Power, both paying 4 places)
- Chepstow 4.45 – Whatmore – 1pt e/w (18/1, Paddy Power, paying 5 places)