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Thursday 9 October 2014

Cesarewitch Preview

Two favourites, Detroit City in 2006 and Darley Sun in 2009, have won the Cesarewitch in the last ten years, but winners at 66/1 (twice), 50/1, 25/1 and 16/1 (twice) in the same period suggest that an extravagant starting price is not, necessarily, an obstacle to victory.
As usual, the prestigious staying handicap has attracted a bevy of interesting contenders, but we’ve highlighted just a few that took our eye.

The one that immediately leaps off the page is Waterclock (50/1), who finished second, beaten 3 lengths, behind Scatter Dice in this race last year and, in so doing, fared by far the best of those ridden prominently. The Notnowcato gelding showed next to nothing on his first four starts for Jedd O’Keefe, having been transferred from Roger Charlton in April, but hinted at a revival when fourth, beaten 9¼ lengths, behind the progressive Moscato at Newcastle last month. Obviously, backing him requires a leap of faith, but he is clearly a talented stayer on his day and merits serious consideration, off a 6lb lower mark than last year, if the Middleham Moor trainer has him back to anything like his best.

Speaking of leaps of faith, Very Good Day (50/1) also has the form to figure prominently if you’re prepared to look back far enough. The Sinndar gelding ran just once for Mick Channon last season, finishing down the field in the Chester Cup, and it was a similar story on his first run for Richard Fahey, in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup, last month. He was clearly way out of his depth on the latter occasion, but happily bowled along at the head of affairs until weakening quickly in the closing stages. Back in a handicap, with a recent run under his belt and 1lb lower in the weights than when second, beaten 1½ lengths, at York two seasons ago, he’s another who could belie generous odds.

Jonny Delta (50/1) is officially 1lb out of the handicap, but is due to be ridden by talented apprentice Joey Haynes, who can ride at 7st 9lb and should be able to claim all of his 3lb allowance. Jim Goldie’s 7-year-old finished a never nearer seventh, beaten 6 lengths, in this race last year, despite racing from 3lb out of the handicap and being denied a clear run in the final quarter of a mile. The Sulamani gelding ran his best race of the season when stepped up to beyond 2 miles for the first time since when beaten just half a length, over 2 mile 1½ furlongs, at Ayr last time and appears to have been trained with this race in mind. A line through the winner at Ayr, Nashville, gives him a little to find with Rhombus but, at more than three times the price, Jonny Delta looks far from a forlorn hope.

In summary, our three against the field for this week are, in order of preference, Jonny Delta (50/1 with Bet365, Sky Bet, Boylesports, Betvictor, Paddy Power and Stan James, Waterclock (50/1 with William Hill) and Very Good Day (50/1 with Betvictor, Stan James and William Hill. Good luck!