The autumn big field handicap circuit heads to Newmarket this weekend for the extended one mile Bet 365 Cambridgeshire Handicap. Not surprisingly, it is a highly competitive field and some Ballydoyle spice has been added to the mix in the shape of Kenya, who was still included in the Monday declarations. We will take a look at the chances of this Galileo colt and check out some of the big market moves of the week.
However, Aiden O’Brien will be keen to add The Cambridgeshire to his illustrious CV of previous triumphs and Kenya looks the type to provide just that.
This Aiden O’Brien three year old is clearly what you may call an autumn horse. All his three wins have come in either September or October. His last two recent runs have been very eye catching indeed including a win in the Irish Cambridgeshire at The Curragh and more noticeably in listed company ten days ago at Leopardstown.
Reverting back to handicap company for this weekend’s Newmarket race, Kenya must have every chance of putting up a great performance considering he’s running off a very attractive handicap mark of 106. He’s currently trading at 14/1 best (William Hill, Bet Victor) and this is worth the ante post risk: if he makes it to the Thursday declaration stage, I think he’ll be favourite and halve in price come Friday.
William Haggas’ yard is in fine fettle at the moment, registering 12 wins in the last couple of weeks. Their chief representative for this race is the well backed Alfarris who has seen his odds clipped from 14’s to 10’s in recent days. He’s in great form too. A gutsy win at Glorious Goodwood in a decent handicap was followed by a narrow defeat at York in a similarly rated handicap. My concern is that the handicapper may have now caught up with him, he is racing at all time high of 104. Nevertheless he is consistent and very capable of improvement but this is highly competitive. 10/1 best with Betfair, Paddy Power, Bet Victor.
This Charles Hills trained 4 year old comes into the reckoning based on some early season decent form including a win at York and an excellent second in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. This was followed by a defeat at Doncaster in a tactically run race so the cavalry charge expected in the Cambridgeshire should suit but he will have to reproduce his best form to figure in this. Well backed this week already from 25’s into 20’s with most firms, he still can be grabbed at the best price of 25/1 with Boylesports.
The combination of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori is always a potent weapon in any event at Newmarket and this potentially exciting three year old is no exception. He really impressed on the all-weather last time out at Chelmsford where he registered a confidence boosting runaway win in a fairly decent handicap. However, he was firmly beaten in a Class 2 handicap at Newmarket course back in July albeit over the further distance of one mile two furlongs, so there are definite question marks about him racing at this kind of level. He has also been raised a pound from the Chelmsford win so plenty of improvement needed which is not out of the question.
It has been noted that some firms are offering 5 places for each way bets in The Cambridgeshire at this early stage. Betfred are currently doing this so not doubt more will follow in the next few days. Don’t forget William Hill’s continuous “2 Clear” offer which pays a 15% bonus on all winnings where the winning horse wins by 2 lengths or more, in the form of free bets up to a maximum of £100.
The cavalry charge first leg of the autumn double (Cesarewitch to come later in October) is a tough one to solve with plenty of top one milers in the mix. However, the class of Kenya (also, incidentally, entered for The Arc on 7th October) could really tell in this hot contest and provide a first ever win for Ballydoyle in this race. The improving Alfarris also a danger but could be a class too far for the likes of and Afaak and Wissahickon.
Good luck with all bets in this Saturday’s Cambridgeshire!