A Big Easy Task In The Cesarewitch!
The “second leg” of the Autumn Double takes place at Newmarket on Saturday via the marathon handicap that is the Cesarewitch over 2m2f (3.50),
…where 35 runners will bid to land the big pot.
With so many runners to sift through, punters may want to digest the following reliable pointers in whittling the field down to a short-list of runners…
Of the last 10 Cesarewitch winners…
9 were officially rated 87 or higher – others were 1-129
9 were drawn in stalls 24 or lower – others were 1-99
9 ran over 2m-2m2f last time – others were 1-170
Those yet to win a handicap were 0-45
Those that ran at Haydock, Goodwood or York last time were 0-89
M Johnston & B Meehan won it twice each
What stands out form the above is that runners in the bottom section of the weights (rated 86 or lower) have not fared too well, which may be a concern to the likes of John Quinn’s Moidore (14/1), who is only 4lb lower than when 10th in this race 12 months ago (beaten 9l) and will need to improve upon that.
However, in the right section of the handicap is the well fancied, is Quick Jack (6/1), trained by the legendary Tony Martin. Still lightly raced after just nine runs on the level, this 5yo was a 2m handicap hurdle winner last winter, before landing a big handicap on the Flat at Galway when last seen in July (good), with Swynmor (12/1) over 6l back in fifth.
A first-time hood saw Quick Jack slice up by 3l that day, and there looks more to come over Saturday’s extra two furlongs. Having record form-figures of 131211212 on his last nine outings, he can be relied on.
Also at the right end of the weights is Philip Hobbs’ dual purpose 7yo, Big Easy (12/1), who was beaten a neck by See And Be Seen in the Cesarewitch Trial over C&D last month (good to soft).
Blocked in his run that day before a strong finish, he gets to race off the same mark on Saturday, and will look for a bigger run than when beaten 24l in this last year.
Just over 3l behind Big Easy in that trial at HQ was Ray Ward (14/1), who has recorded some fine placed efforts the last twice. The first was when runner-up at Goodwood in July (2m5f, good to firm) when beaten on the line, before the aforementioned third over C&D last month (good to soft). That first outing since Goodwood (almost two months) would have put him spot-on for Saturday, and a big run is anticipated.
Chester Cup Winner
Saturday’s big prize has also attracted the Chester Cup winner, Suegioo (14/1), who triumphed by 1/2l over 2m2f back in May (good), before a creditable second in the Northumberland Plate (2m, good to firm). This 5yo warmed up for Saturday with an eyecatching third at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting last month when finishing strongly over an inadequate 1m6f (good to soft), giving the impression he can win off his current mark.
Ryan Moore will also be present, and is an interesting booking for Hughie Morrison’s Nearly Caught (14/1), who has been lightly raced this term with just three outings. Given a break since May, this 4yo returned at York in August to keep on well to finish eighth in the valuable Ebor Handicap (1m6f, good), and having previously stayed on well over 2m when second at Haydock, this 2m2f could very much suit.
Let’s not forget Ismail Mohammed’s improving 4yo, Rhombus (16/1), who has won his last two races under crack apprentice, Cam Hardle, who keeps the ride on Saturday. The first of those wins came over 2m here at Newmarket on soft ground, and he looks well treated.
Plenty in with a chance, but Philip Hobbs looks to have laid out Big Easy, who arrives as fresh as paint following just the one outing this year, which came in last month’s C&D trial.