This weekend the first leg of the Autumn double takes place at Newmarket. The Cambridgeshire Handicap is run over nine furlongs of the Rowley Mile on Saturday, but the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile is Friday’s feature.
Certify is Sky Bet’s favourite for trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni and she is bidding to maintain her unbeaten record in this. Her trainer feels there is more to come from the filly who made it three from three in the May Hill at Doncaster last time out.
She isn’t the biggest and it remains to be seen if she trains on next year, but she will be hard to beat in this race.
In opposition is Ollie Olga for Mick Channon, she is also unbeaten in three. It was a good performance to beat Sky Lantern at Goodwood last time out. Winsili is interesting for John Gosden and she is taking the leap up in grade having finished second in a conditions race last time out, it was an eyecatching run though and she has been supplemented for this race.
Roz missed the May Hill due to the softish ground but Harry Dunlop’s filly get’s the opportunity to take on Certify here. With Certify being a short price I think it may be worth taking a chance on Winsili being the improver in the race for a stable that can do little wrong this flat season.
To Saturday then and the Cambridgeshire is the puzzle and this Heritage Handicap is wide open with 35 horses declared. It worth remembering that low draws are on the far side now with the high draw up the stands side rail since the draw changes were introduced a couple of years ago.
Mukhadram is drawn in the centre and has been well backed in the run up to this contest. William Haggas is always to be feared in big handicaps and this lightly raced 3 year-old has plenty to recommend him. The trip looks about ideal but it’s a tough race for a horse with such little experience.
Chil The Kite is drawn 1 for Richard Hughes and Hughie Morrison. He is a talented individual who looks well handicapped and although he isn’t a straightforward ride (he can hang badly) he is definitely one on my shortlist.
Mijhaar has only won the one race, his maiden in May last year but Roger Varian’s colt has run some decent races in defeat and looks fairly handicapped. He has had no luck whatsoever as his run in the John Smith’s Cup highlights and he can’t be written off yet.
Bronze Angel has just squeezed in at the bottom of the weights so a relief for his ante-post supporters. He was 3rd in the Britannia on his last start and should come here fresh having not run since June. He wasn’t hit hard by the handicapper for that effort and William Buick is an eyecatching booking.
King’s Warrior was talked up in the week and supported as a result. He won the John Smith’s Cup last time out and was raised 10lbs for that, but Peter Chapple-Hyam has booked apprentice find Michael Murphy who takes 5 of those pounds back off. He can go well providing the ground isn’t faster than good as he seems to prefer some dig in the ground.
Mull of Killough is an interesting runner for Jane Chapple-Hyam. She has booked Joseph O’Brien to ride, but this horse is another that seems to like to get his toe in. Rewarded is dropping in trip and that looks like it will be suitable for James Toller’s colt.
Talk About travels over from France for Mikael Dezangles and he has also been backed having been tipped up earlier in the week. Swiftly Done looks like a progressive handicapper for trainer Declan Carroll. He ran well enough in a heritage handicap at Goodwood last time out but again may not appreciate the ground without some cut and it never gets really testing on the Rowley Mile. Anderiego represents another shrewd trainer, David O’Meara, who has booked a 7lb claimer to ride this horse. This horse has improved leaps and bounds since joining the trainer this season.
Boom And Bust hails from the same stable as my number one fancy, Bronze Angel. Marcus Tregoning looks well represented and his runners are drawn at opposite sides of the track. I’m going with his bottom weight in this though, Bronze Angel with Chil the Kite his main danger.
The Cheveley Park Stakes looks like a top class race. It’s a Group 1 for juvenile fillies over 6 furlongs and champion jockey elect Richard Hughes is looking forward to his ride on Maureen who could be his best ride of the weekend.
The Richard Hannon trained filly is a proper 2 year-old and her only defeat was an unlucky run in the Cherry Hinton.
Lowther winner Rosdhu Queen is unbeaten in 3 for William Haggas and Johnny Murtagh takes the ride. She has loads of speed too but I’ll be happy to take her on in this.
Winning Express has been added to the field at a cost of £15,000 for Ed McMahon will be hoping she can repay some of that investment. She has won both her starts, latterly in a Listed race at Salisbury and she too looks like a very speedy type.
Queen Mary winner Ceiling Kitty reopposes with the runner up in that Royal Ascot race, Hoyam. This is a first try at 6 furlongs for Tom Dascombe’s runner who was just ahead of Hoyam again last time out in the Flying Childers behind Sir Prancelot. Jeremy Noseda’s The Gold Cheongsam has already paid for herself several times over by winning a valuable sales race at Doncaster last time out. She owes her connections nothing and may just need to step up on that to win here.
Sendmylovetorose was beaten in the Moyglare last time out on good ground and it seems she prefers some cut to show her best. I hope Maureen can win this as she is a filly I really like and I have followed her on her last couple of starts and thought she could have won the Cherry Hinton with a clear run.
The Sun Chariot Stakes also has Group 1 status. This one is for older fillies and mares over a mile. Beauty Parlour is a new recruit to the Sir Henry Cecil stable having formerly been trained in France by Ellie Lellouche.
She won the French Guineas and was 2nd in the French Oaks for her former handler. Cecil is building the rest of her season around a trip to America for the Breeders’ Cup, but feels a mile maybe her best trip.
Cecil also saddles older filly Chachamaidee who won the Group 1 Matron Stakes in Ireland on her last start. She was given the race in the stewards room though after first past the post Duntle caused her some problems in the closing stages. I stand by the fact that 7 furlongs is her best trip.
Elusive Kate represents John Gosden and she ran a stormer to be 3rd behind the colts Excelebration and Cityscape at Deauville last time out and now returns to take on her own sex again. She must go well. It’s another high class race on Cambridgeshire weekend and I’m going to go with Elusive Kate to add some much needed prize money into the Gosden coffers as he bids to be champion trainer.
Winsili in the Fillies’ Mile @ 7/1 with Sky Bet
Bronze Angel in the Cambridgeshire @ 14/1 with Sky Bet
Maureen in the Cheveley Park Stakes
Elusive Kate in the Sun Chariot Stakes @ 9/4 with Sky Bet