The fiercely competitive Cambridgeshire Handicap provides its usual impenetrable puzzle this year (3.35 Newmarket, live on ITV4). However we have found a 20/1 shot that we expect to run give a great run for our money.
The Cambridgeshire is the first leg of the Autumn Double at Newmarket that is completed by the Cesarewitch in two weeks time. This hotly contested handicap over nine furlongs (1m1f) of the Rowley Mile course often has a maximum field of 35 runners, but sees ‘just’ 29 line up in 2020.
In this Cambridgeshire preview, with concluding betting tips, we analyse the leading contenders:
Tempus was made the ante-post favourite at about 5/1 when the weights were announced. That is short for a race in which the average price of the winner over the last 20 years is 20/1. The four-year-old’s official rating will 3lb higher in future races. Tempus has won two Class 2 handicaps over the last six weeks. The impressive win at Ascot over one mile earlier this month was a career best effort and the Roger Charlton runner can make the frame in the Cambridgeshire.
Sinjaari has won on the projected good to firm going in the past and is proven in the class. There had been no wins in five starts before showing great form by winning a lucrative handicap at York in July. The form of that race has worked out well and earned Sinjaari a highest career rating. The one length margin of victory from Certain Lad in second place is commendable and gives him a shout. However, the handicapper could have given the William Haggas trained runner too much to do.
Montatham carried three ponds less than Sir Busker in the York race and only won by a neck. The weights are one pound in favour of Sir Busker who has the marginally better form. The ratings suggest Montatham needs to show some improvement to win the Newmarket race. However, It is worth noting that Montatham ran keenly at York so the effort could be upgraded. A win and second place in previous handicaps suggest Montatham has a manageable mark.
Derevo has not won in four starts this season but was a beaten favourite last time out and will rise in the ratings for future races. The second place finish to a lightly weighted handicap good thing at Doncaster this month was a fine run. Consistency has been displayed in five races so Derevo will be competitive and is another contender to make the frame. The Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore combination is another positive but others are better handicapped.
Bell Rock has run well without winning in big-field lucrative handicaps at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood. He finished half a length ahead of Derevo in the latter race carrying seven pounds more weight. The difference is an extra pound in favour of Derevo so the two runners are closely matched. The win in a Newmarket handicap in July was in a much less valuable race so Bell Rock does not have the form to win a race like the Cambridgeshire.
Sir Busker was just behind Montatham at York and has a slight weight pull so has a winnable mark. The win in the Silver Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot in June carrying 9st 10lbs is a key form guide. Sir Busker, trained by William Knight, has improved or matched his official rating in the last five starts. There is the potential for more improvement which can take the second top weight ahead of Montatham and the rest of the field. Sir Busker is proven at the level and in this type of competitive handicap carrying a similar weight.
Certain Lad carries one pound more than Sir Busker so is the Cambridgeshire top weight. The one length deficit behind Sinjaari at York, giving one pound, gives Certain Lad too much to do against that opponent. However, the Group 3 win at York last month was a step up and gets Certain Lad right in the mix. The last two winners of the Cambridgeshire won Group races so there is a precedent for runners at a higher level managing the weight.
Our Cambridgeshire Preview’s Betting Tips Verdict
Race conditions mean an unexposed runner from low in the weights rarely now wins a valuable heritage handicap like the Cambridgeshire. The leading contenders are at the top end of handicap, such as Sir Busker and Montatham.
Certain Lad is a Group winner running in a handicap but not too far ahead of those runners. Marginal preference is for SIR BUSKER because there could be enough improvement to come to win the Cambridgeshire. So our Cambridgeshire betting tip for this preview is:
- Bet on Sir Busker each-way @ current best odds of 20/1 with the bookies in the odds table below.