The average winning starting price in the Cesarewitch Handicap in the last six years has been a mammoth 37/1 and that includes the 2016 heroine Sweet Selection at 7/1, so seek the value in Saturday’s lung bursting contest in Newmarket 3.40pm on Saturday.
This year the weather forecast looks likely to supply us with near perfect good ground and that should suit Ces Trial winner Who Dares Wins to a tee.
He had plenty up his sleeve when seeing off the well touted Coeur De Lion last month and with a mere 4lbs penalty Alan King’s charge still looks solid each-way value at 12/1.
I had previously pinned my hard earned to the punting mast with the well handicapped Vent de Force, but he has fallen by the wayside, so at the prices there is room for one further string to my betting bow in the form of The Graduate.
Tony Martin would be your ideal poker player as he rarely, if ever, gives anything away and he’s as shrewd as a fox and with this son of Mastercraftsman, he has a relatively lightly raced stayer to go to war with here.
His handicap mark has leapt from 63 to 90 in the last 12 months, but in that very same Ces Trial the four-year-old was a monster eye-catcher.
Having his first run for two months, Oisin Murphy held his partner up from way off the pace and it was easy to see from some way out that the combination was too far out of their ground to affect the result.
Still, pushed out hands and heels, this lightly raced grey ran on strongly inside the final 250 yards to finish 9th of the 20 runners and thus execute the perfect trial run for the big one.
At the time of writing he is a mouth-watering 33/1 shot and looks the most intriguing of our trio for this 2m 2f test.
Aidan O’Brien has a ridiculous 16 of the 48 entries in the Dewhurst Stakes due off at 3pm Saturday.
But even his armada of juveniles cannot make any kind of impact on the market against the 8/13 favourite Expert Eye.
I was at Goodwood to see this Sir Michael Stoute colt land the Vintage Stakes in some style and the third, fourth and fifth have all won since.
Still, at the price even if he is the most likely winner, there are two places up for grabs and if Herculean is sent here by Roger Charlton in preference to the Racing Post Trophy then he could hit the frame at a huge price.
If this once raced colt side steps Newmarket, then cast your eye over Newbury novice winner Emaraaty.
A gorgeous moving son of Dubawi, he has about 15lbs to find on my ratings with Expert Eye, but has bundles of room for improvement and deserves his 7/1 third favourite quote with Paddy Power.
Now that the leaves are falling and the central heating has been fired up, heads are turned to the national hunt season and I have one long range wager I wanted to share with you.
Being from Liverpool, the Grand National has always been close to my heart and following our hit with One For Arthur last year I am on the Aintree trail again.
The further Rock The Kasbah has gone over fences the better he has looked and granted good ground I fancy he will be a force to be reckoned with in this season’s staying events.
Two from seven over fences so far, the Phillip Hobbs’ trained charge ran his best race in defeat when coming home strongly to finish sixth of 13 in the ‘Whitbread’ at Sandown Park, beaten by less than two and a half lengths.
The Old Hennessy could be his first port of call at Newbury, a really good long term Grand National Trial, after which we can have warm thoughts of Aintree about this seven-year-old through the long winter nights.
I shall embellish my National Hunt ante-post black book as the longer nights approach. Good luck!
* All Prices correct at time of posting.