With Ayr having bitten the dust this weekend it’s time to get my ante-post crystal ball out and see if we can sort out some double figure value on the Autumn Double at Newmarket.
There are two rules of thumb I go normally go by for the Cesarewitch (October 14th). Firstly, look at the increasing trend of NH horses seeking to land this famous lung-burster and also former group horses that have plummeted in the handicap.
So with the available prices in our favour let’s kick start the 2m2f second leg with a forgotten staying animal in VENT DE FORCE.
Yes that’s the one, winner of the Melrose Stakes, a strong staying victor of the Henry II Stakes and subsequently…….well not a lot to be fair.
I know that Hughie Morrison has been scratching his head with this son of Hurricane Run, but slowly but surely he seems to be returning to form with a fourth to Big Orange at Sandown this season his best effort for some time.
He only just failed to land the Listed Prix Prix Du Carrousel two runs back and then wasn’t suited by the run of the race in the Prix Gladiateur behind the mighty Vazirabad.
Having dropped in the ratings from 109 to 100 and with Hughie’s team flying I suspect he is the joker in the pack in this year’s field and I’m more than happy to grab a slice of the 20/1 in the PP shop window.
Back him up with an NH team consisting of STERNRUBIN and OCEANE. The former has been aimed at this race for a while by Phillip Hobbs and is due to run in the Ces Trial at Newmarket on Saturday so you need to be quick to include this six-year-old. His victory at Ffos Las last month on the level smacked of a well handicapped horse and better ground could see him move up another gear.
Oceane was a massive eye catcher at York last time out. It could be that the Knavesmire is more his cup of tea, but the first time visor seemed to work a treat that day. It’s 20/1 and 33/1 for these two entries which means we have three relative outsiders to pair up with a 3 x3 cross double bet with our Cambridgeshire hopes.
The first leg of the double (Sept 30th) looks a bit more complicated, but I fancy Lincoln winner BRAVERY is a tad over priced at 33/1.
He is back below his last winning Doncaster mark and travelled supremely well at York to a point last time out before meeting with interference after which he was let down by his jockey.
A bit of juice in the ground is perfect for him and this intermediate 9f trip could well turn out to be his optimum.
Ever since he was fourth in the Greenham Stakes, behind no less a horse than Barney Roy, I have thought that KINGS GIFT would be the perfect sort for this race and an unlucky in running third of 14 at York last time out merely served to cement that view.
He is likely to sneak in among the lighter weights and is another 33/1 juicer on our side.
Back that duo up with ante-post favourite THUNDERING BLUE. This four-year-old has really found his mojo in the past six weeks and put to sleep, with the minimum of fuss, a cracking set of handicappers last time out at Sandown Park. To my eyes a 6lbs penalty looks very lenient.
So grab the ante-post bull by the horns and have a 3 x 3 cross double bet for an autumnal jackpot.
St Leger – Looking to the future
And finally, a word on last week’s St Leger with a view to the future. I can’t pen my thoughts on the actual tactics used in the race akin to Seb Coe 800m attempt on the old grand prix athletics circuit, but you get my drift. So instead onwards and upwards let’s look forward to next year.
PP have installed the winner, Capri, at 6/1 for next year’s Ascot Gold Cup, but REKINDLING, a never-nearer fourth, looks more like the out and out stayer you need to have on your side.
At the time of writing the 14/1 looks solid value in a race that Aidan O’Brien and co love to farm.