After last weekend’s stellar racing, this week provides two top-class, big-field, valuable handicaps to get stuck into. Newmarket stages the highlight in the shape of the Cesarewitch, whilst York brings us the Coral Sprint Trophy. Both are potential punting minefields, but a double-handed attack on both races will hopefully prove fruitful. So here’s our horse racing tips for this weekend:
There aren’t many 2 mile 2 furlong top-class handicaps in Britain, and 10-year trends do little to narrow the possible winners down. 4-year-olds and 6-year-olds have managed three wins each in the last decade, whilst the other winners have been aged 3, 5, 8 and 11. Meanwhile, Aim to Prosper has won it twice for Brian Meehan, one carrying 7-13 and once carrying 9-10, two performances that bookmark the weights carried to victory. Aside from those two performances, weights carried range from 8-2 to 9-6, whilst trainer Mark Johnston has also won it twice. Odds have also ranged wildly with two well-backed 9/2 favourites obliging as well as two 66/1 shots. The weather forecast further clouds the issue as, with plenty of rain forecast between now and the big race, the current good ground may soften considerably.
Quick Jack currently heads the market at 7/1 for shrewd trainer Tony Martin’s, who knows a thing or two about winning big-handicaps, and his improving and versatile stayer must have every chance of taking this. However, I prefer the chance of 4-year-old Nearly Caught who, as a sibling of top-classy-stayer Pale Mimosa, must have every chance of improving markedly for this step up in trip. Trainer Hughie Morrison has booked the services of Ryan Moore – and that’s a big hint to the fact Morrison has laid his charge out for this £155,000 to the winner contest.
With many bookies paying out on 6-places it also looks wise to have a pop at an outsider, and my pick is Ted Spread. Deemed good enough to run in the 2010 St Leger off a mark of 105 he runs off just 91 here under Luke Morris and, though it takes a leap of faith to think he’s anywhere near as good as he was, he may just enjoy the slower pace and longer distance.
Nearly Caught each-way 16/1
Ted Spread each-way 33/1
Coral Sprint Trophy
This sprint contest may only be over a third of the distance of the Cesarewitch, and be worth only a third of the prize-money to the winner, but it looks a lot easier to solve. Aetna was a course and distance winner in May on soft ground, which is again forecast here, and trainer Mick Easterby loves having a winner on his beloved Knavesmire. If you can get 4/1 each-way at weekend – it looks an absolute steal, whilst Mass Rally looks worth a saver.
Aetna 2 points each-way @ 4/1
Mass Rally each-way 8/1
All selections are 1 point unless otherwise stated.