JustBookies has a couple of tempting each-way betting tips for the 2m2f Cesarewitch Handicap 2020 on Saturday (3.35pm Newmarket, live on ITV).
Expect a thriller for the maximum 34-runner Ces, the second leg of the Autumn Double, initiated by the Cambridgeshire on the same Rowley Mile course at Newmarket. The projected going is soft and more rain is forecast but Saturday is expected to be precipitation-free, so the ground won’t be too slow as this track dries out fast.
Inexcusably the prize-fund has nearly halved since last year, despite the UK bookies still raking in billions a year off the back of British horse racing. I suppose we should forget the politics and urge you to read on for our Cesarewitch big-race preview, culminating with betting tips.
Coltrane has won his last three starts and looks progressive. The three-year-old will benefit from a 10 pounds weight-for-age allowance from the older runners. The latest win was in a Class 2 handicap at York in August. Coltrane beat Arthurian Fable in second place by four lengths. The runner-up has a weights pull of seven pounds which suggests the handicapper has given Coltrane a difficult task against a number of potentially better handicapped rivals.
Great White Shark is trained by Willie Mullins, who has won the race in the last two years. His runners are usually well-handicapped and he clearly hand picks his entries. The latest of six career wins was the lucrative Guinness Handicap Hurdle at Galway at the end of July. Great White Shark has a competitive rating over hurdles and was third in a big-field handicap at the Cheltenham Festival in March. However, on Flat form other runners are preferred.
Leoncavallo is towards the bottom of the handicap despite two wins and two second place finishes in the last four starts. The eight-year-old has won at this level in the past and on the same going but would be the oldest winner since 2012. The recent comfortable win at Haydock was in a Class 4 handicap and Leoncavallo is a much better horse over hurdles and fences. The David Pipe-trained runner does not have the Flat form to win a race like the Cesarewitch.
Not So Sleepy is another eight-year-old who has the trends against him. The gelding carries a penalty of four pounds but will have a slightly higher official rating in future races. Being pulled up in the Champion Hurdle is not the best endorsement for the Cesarewitch but hurdle form justified an entry. The win in a Class 2 handicap on the Flat at Pontefract last month is decent form in the context of this race and Not So Sleepy runs with a manageable weight. Trainer Hughie Morrison and jockey Graham Lee have every right to be optimistic.
Mondain has one of the best profiles in terms of the trends. The four-year-old ticks boxes in terms of age, weight and projected odds. His official rating in future races goes up so Mondain is a few pounds ahead of the handicapper. The first place effort in a Class 3 handicap at Ayr 22 days ago was a good weight-carrying effort. Mondain was second at Newmarket in August over 1m6f and running on strongly. That run represented decent form and this marathon 2m2f trip will suit. This son of Dubawi acts well on soft.
Just Hubert is another who has a good chance on the trends. Also aged four, his weight allocation and ante-post odds fit with a typical winner of this race. A decent form guide is the Class 2 Sky Bet Handicap over 2m1f at York in August. Just Hubert finished eighth carrying nine stone, 10 lengths behind the winner, Summer Moon, who raced with 9 stone eight pounds. Just Hubert has a pull of 7 pounds so in theory cannot beat the top weight.
Arthurian Fable has form with the favourite, Coltrane, which suggests he has his measure. In theory, the three-year-old colt has three pounds in hand and the weight-for-age allowance is a positive. Arthurian Fable was a beaten favourite last time out but the soft going was not ideal. That does not augur well for Newmarket on Saturday. The form edge is more than negated by likely underfoot conditions.
Summer Moon is the top weight, who could be better than a handicapper. Class 2 handicap wins at Yarmouth last September and the race at York in which Just Hubert was unplaced suggest ability above the level of the Cesarewitch. However, Summer Moon would have to achieve a rare weight-carrying run to win the race. His official rating goes down in future races which means Summer Moon does not appear to be running with a winnable weight.
Our Ces Preview’s Betting Tips Verdict
Coltrane does not appear to be well handicapped and the age is a negative. Great White Shark is unlikely to produce a reproduction of his jumps form on the Flat. Leoncavallo is not proven in this class of race on the Flat. Just Hubert has to improve at the current weight, while Summer Moon looks too high in the handicap to prevail. Arthurian Fable will not be suited by soft going. So here we go for the Ces betting tips:
- Our two against the field for the 2020 Cesarewitch based on trends and form are Not So Sleepy (12/1 William Hill) and Mondain (16/1 William Hill, Betfair, Paddy Power). Back them both each-way and keep an eye on the fluctuations in the Ces odds in the comparison table below.