We have real variety on offer from Newmarket this coming weekend. On a day labelled “Future Champions Day”, there is unsurprisingly an overload of top juvenile action for those with Classic aspirations headed into next season, but it’s not all about the Group class performers. Also on the card is one of the premier handicap contests of the season, as the stayers go to post in this somewhat unusual event.
There should be close to a maximum field lining up once again this year, including a whole host of likely looking sorts towards the head of the market. Overall though we will be looking a little further down the list, and turning to the trainer who provided one of the biggest shocks in the history of the race in 2013.
Next Race: TBD
The next renewal of this race has not been scheduled yet. We will update this once the schedule has been released for next season. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
2m2f is the trip for this Class 2 heritage handicap, set to be run on good to soft going this year and offering a not inconsiderable £350,000 in guaranteed prize money.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Good to soft||2m2f||Class 2||£350,000||31 Runners||1/4 1-4|
Cesarewitch Stakes Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from the last running of the race. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
The lightly raced runners with the “sexy” profiles have as ever made their way to the head of the market this year, with the likes of Land Of Oz and Timoshenko from the Sir Mark Prescott operation expected to be popular on the day. This prize often doesn’t fall to the most obvious contender though, and we will be hoping for an upset in 2019.
MULLINS THE MAN AGAIN?
Given the wealth of stamina laden performers they have at their disposal, the National Hunt trainers are understandably drawn to these major staying handicaps on the flat, and this race has been no exception. Philip Hobbs, Alan King and Willie Mullins have tasted success in this in the past five years alone, and it is multiple Irish Champion, Mullins, who is responsible for the jolly, Buildmeupbuttercup, this year.
Going in the hands of “man of the season” Frankie Dettori, this five year old by the strong stamina influence Sixties Icon is the one to have caught the imagination of the betting public. Formerly with Mick Channon, she joined Mullins in December 2018, and despite showing promise as a hurdler, looks to be a better performer on the level.
Never out of the first two in three flat starts for Mullins, she warmed up for this with a staying-on second over 1m5f at Leopardstown. Again second in the Ascot Stakes in June, she’s proven in big field staying events such as this and has plenty in her favour.
OR DOES BALDING BOAST THE WINNING HAND?
Another to have come in for significant support in the build up to the race is the Andrew Balding-trained three year old, Ranch Hand. Unraced as a juvenile, this son of Dunaden made short work of landing his first two starts this season, before coming up short behind Anthony Van Dyck in the Lingfield Derby Trial. Looking in need of further that day, that still looked to be the case despite being stepped up to 1m5f last time out when only plodding on late for fifth at this track.
Stepped up further again at Haydock, the combination of 1m6f and soft ground appeared to work the oracle last time out, as he ground it out late to score by a fairly dominant two lengths. Getting in here under just a 4lb penalty, he is officially 1lb well in, and may well have more to come on what will be just his second outing in handicap company.
ROCH THE ROAD TO RICHES?
A look at the recent results here does suggest that it may be worth casting the net a little beyond those at the head of the market, and of those at bigger prices, the one to catch our eye is the Mark Johnston runner, Rochester House. By Galileo and out of a Group 3 winning mare, this three year old would be one of the most classily bred sorts in the field, and has shown bits and pieces of form which make him of interest here.
A perfect two from two over two miles – the furthest distance he has yet tackled - he looks to handle ease underfoot well enough, but does need to bounce back from a disappointing showing at York last time out. Considering that was his third run in a staying event in the space of just 18 days though, we are happy to forgive him that. Having now been kept off the track for 49 days in order to have a gelding operation, improvement may well be imminent here.
Final Verdict: Rochester House Each Way
Buildmeupbuttercup looks rock solid to run his race, but doesn’t look particularly well handicapped considering how short he is in the betting. The unexposed brigade – headed by Ranch Hand – are feared more, but we generally prefer an each way punt in a race such as this.
The one to side with is Rochester House. Mark Johnston is an expert with this type of horse, and may have pulled off something of a coup in getting this one in here under a featherweight, on what will be his first start since a gelding op. At the prices he certainly looks worth chancing.
Cesarewitch Stakes Winners
The results over the past decade would suggest that this is a mightily tough race to predict. For whilst the odd gamble has been landed, such as the successful plunge on Withhold in 2017, it doesn’t always work out that way. In the past 10 years alone, we have witnessed one winner at 25/1, one at 50/1 and two at a whopping 66/1.
No question about the man to follow in the saddle in recent years though, with Silvestre De Sousa registering three wins in the past six renewals – a remarkable run of success in such a competitive contest.
|2018||Low Sun||10/1||Willie Mullins||Seamie Heffernan|
|2017||Withhold||5/1||Roger Charlton||Silvestre De Sousa|
|2016||Sweet Selection||7/1||Hughie Morrison||Silvestre De Sousa|
|2015||Grumeti||50/1||Alan King||Adam Beschizza|
|2014||Big Easy||10/1||Philip Hobbs||Tom Queally|
In October, two weeks after the popular Cambridge Handicap, Newmarket hosts the second half of the ‘Autumn Double’, the Cesarewitch Handicap. While both are massive races in their own right, the standing of the Cesarewitch enjoyed a massive boost following the recent Dubai sponsorship deal. The partnership more than doubled the jackpot for the handicap, bumping it up to a huge £500,000. Now one of the richest flat handicaps in the UK, demand has further increased for the already popular two mile, two furlong battle which can feature as many as 34 runners.
The rather unusually named race gets its title from the anglicised word for Tsesarevich, the title given in Imperial Russia to the next heir of the throne. But what does Russian royalty have to do with British horse racing? Well, Tsesarevich Alexander (later Tsar Alexander II) had a soft spot for the sport it seems as he donated £300 to the Jockey Club, not a trivial sum in those days. Not too far from two centuries later, the race continues to operate under his name and what a fine race it is to be attached to.
AGING CARACCIOLA STUNS NEWMARKET CROWD
When looking at the age of former Cesarewitch winners, there’s one record that jumps out from the rest. While the bulk of champions have been aged between four and seven, Caracciola completely bucked the trend by winning as an 11-year-old. His fine effort in 2008 saw him become the oldest ever champion of a race that dates back to 1839. The German-bred horse’s historic achievement was one that few saw coming but there was absolutely no luck involved during a commanding three length triumph.
Having finished second in the Cesarewitch a year earlier, perhaps the market ought to have had more faith in Caracciola but a combination of his age and lack of form proved sufficiently off-putting. With no support, the Nicky Henderson-trained (that also ought to have alerted punters) horse set off at a huge 50/1 price tag but he’s far from the only long-odds winner this race has seen in recent years.
Grumeti won at the same price in 2015 and there were two 66/1 champions just a few years earlier, in 2012 and 2013. It’s little surprise then why this race is such a huge hit with the punters who are frequently well compensated for picking out the winner. It isn’t an easy task of course, but choose your bets wisely and even an each way punt can lead to a huge profit.
DON’T BE LEFT OUTSIDE
As you can see above, there’s rarely such a thing as a short-priced Cesarewitch winner. Even backing a placed horse can reap handsome returns, especially given the range of promotions the bookies usually offer for the contest. Picking a horse that makes the frame isn’t easy but a little assistance from the race trends can go a long way. One thing past results tells us is that those drawn close to the rail fare best while those on the very outside regularly struggle.
DRAW OF CESAREWITCH WINNERS 2008 TO 2018
|1 to 7||77||3||17|
|8 to 14||77||3||7|
|15 to 21||77||1||11|
|22 to 28||77||3||7|
Looking at the data above, it does rather make sense when you think that this race takes place on an L shaped course. Those starting on the inside are well placed to take on the right handed turn whereas those beginning in a wide berth have a lot of traffic to cut across in order to get a more preferential line.
AAIM TO PROSPER MAKES HISTORY
In 2012, Aaim To Prosper delivered the seemingly impossible by winning the Cesarewitch Handicap for a second time. Never before had a horse been able to pull this off despite so many efforts over the years. The record-busting horse finished a credible seventh on his Cesarewitch debut and won as the favourite the following year when edging out La Vecchia Scuola.
Unable to defend his crown in 2011 as his season was cut short, Aaim To Propser returned to Newmarket 12 months later, trading as a whopping 66/1 outsider for a historic second title. Despite his huge price, the eight-year-old stayed on gamely for Kieren Fallon as he held off the 7/1 favourite Countrywide Flame to earn his place in the history books.
AAIM TO PROSPER’S CESARWITCH RUNS