Friday, October 01, 2010

The Cambridgeshire (with some Sunday signals thrown in)

The Cambridgeshire tops a difficult-looking card at Newmarket tomorrow with 35 set to face the starter at 3.40 on ground described as soft. This evening John Gosden's Nationalism is the layers' favourite, as low as 7/2 with Boylesports while both Coral and Ladbrokes go 6/1. In the last ten years four horses have carried more than nine stones to victory; given the state of the ground and the competitive nature of this handicap, I've concentrated my efforts on those runners allocated less than nine stones. Elliptical, whose owners Keen As Mustard are unlikely to be put off by bad weather, was regarded unlucky when going down a head to Tartan Gigha over course and distance back in May. Gerard Butler's inmate has won on soft in the past although most of his recent form is on better ground but the booking of Christophe Soumillon certainly catches the eye; connections anticpiate a bold show. Both Emirates Dream and Absinthe have recent winning form in similar conditions; the latter could be anything but was reported to have scoped dirty after a piece of work two and a half weeks ago. Plenty of commentators have talked up the chances of Luca Cumani's Start Right (an each-way shout according to Fallon in the Weekender and he'll be pleased with a draw nearer the stands side in stall 9) and of John Gosden's supposed second string Taqleed. A J Martin, renowned for pulling off handicap coups over the sticks, travels over from Meath to saddle Pires, a brown gelding who counts Ruby Walsh and Johnny Murtagh amongst his previous pilots, while I had a second look at Smokey Oakey depsite the price as he'll appreciate the easy ground; he has been out of form of late and on balance looks unlikely to give part-owner Judi Dench a day to remember. In an impossible race, a chance is taken with Pires (each-way). It's worth noting that Skybet offer a quarter the odds six places while several layers pay on the fifth spot including bet365, totesport, Betfred, Victor Chandler, Blue Square and Stan James.

Sunday's highlight is the Arc (Longhamp 3.05) and Cavalryman has quickly caught my eye. The colt secured third in this race last year behind Sea The Stars when drawn wide in stall 19. He hasn't really hit form since his move from Andre Fabre but has a better draw on this occasion together with the assistance of Dettori in the plate; 20/1 is the price this evening.

From the Arc on a Sunday to a Huntingdon novice chase on a Sunday - the Emma and Megan Deanus Novices' Chase should prove useful for future reference. Nigel Twiston-Davies saddles Cootehill, Philip Hobbs Cockney Trucker while the J P McManus owned Rock Noir makes his chasing debut on a course where the fences are stiff enough. At the same meeting novice Songe looks quite highly tried in the handicap chase at 3.30 while Kahfre (4.05) won well at Plumpton the last time.

Finally another Sunday novice chase to take in - this time at Uttoxeter. Only six go in the Novices' Chase at 3.20 but Darstardly Dick, Wessex King and Shadow Dancer all look interesting contenders.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

I never heard Pires (18/1) mentioned once in Simon Holt's Cambridgeshire commentary until the field had less than 100 yards to run. Miraculously the horse appeared from nowhere and stayed on to take third behind Credit Swap (14/1) and Steele Tango (16/1). Connections have in mind the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham's Open Meeting in November for their charge.

In a first time visor Cavalryman (20/1) looked all buzzed up before the Arc. Dettori broke the parade to take his mount to the start early; the horse finisehd eighth behind Workforce (6/1).

Wins came for Cockney Trucker (7/2), Songe (11/4f) and Dastardly Dick (3/1) while Kahfre (6/4f) went down a neck trying to concede a stone to Joan D'Arc (5/1).