Main betting race of the day is the Emirates Cesarewitch Stakes at 4.10, over 2m 2f of the Newmarket heath, with 30 runners due to line up.
Favourite, at a shortening 9-2 is the Andrew Balding trained 3-y-o Ranch Hand and it is easy to see why. When winning the Old Newton Cup at Haddock on handicap debut, Ranch Hand comfortably beat Elysian Flame, which finished second to Hamish (both our selections) at York yesterday and the third horse was Trueshan (also our selection) which ran away with the big handicap at Newmarket.
Franked that form definitely has been and, off just 4lbs higher, this horse could be very well in. The unknowns are the extra yardage and the softer ground, but, if coping with both, this is the probable winner, so we start by recommending a win bet.
Two other runners catch our collective eye, starting with the headline horse,which is Who Dares Wins. Alan King‘s charge has a string of top class performances on its CV and is a better horse now than when finishing 10th in this race in 2017. WDW tuned up for this in a French Group 1 (!) and has the services of the next big thing Angus Villiers, whose allowance brings the rating down to 97, well below the mark defied just last year. Have an each way bet at 28-1.
Our third dart is thrown at one of the Oirish raiders, but not one trained by the big boys. Great Trango, trained by Harry Kelly (about whom it was once said: “Who?”) has the clear beating of the other Emerald Isle runners at today’s weights and rates a decent each way punt at 16-1.
Newmarket action starts at 2.20 with the Group 3 Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes for 2-y-os over ten furlongs.
Mr O’Brien supplies the favourite in Mythical, who won his maiden on just his second start by 8+ lengths and looked every inch a future star. There is always a chance that this big, green son of Camelot won’t handle the Newmarket undulations, but, if he does, the others may not see which way he went. A win bet is recommended at 11-4.
We also think that there is big improvement to come from Max Vega, especially over today’s trip, so, at 9-1 an each way stake is advised.
The Dubai Autumn Stakes at 2.55 looks at the mercy of Molatham, who beat Wichita at Doncaster last time out and that now looks smart form after the latter’s win in the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes by no less than 7 lengths. First encounter for Molatham with soft ground today but we’ll take the chance and recommend a win bet at 9-4.
The Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at 3.30 will, hopefully, be final confirmation of the brilliance of Pinatubo, so one to just watch.
Over at York, the Listed coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes at 2.40 sees the reappearance of Tim Easterby‘s star youngster Lampang, which, frankly, looks in a class of its own after two impressive wins.
We would be making this horse quite long odds-on for this race, so at around 5-4 we advise hosing in.
Finally (yes, we are swerving the 22 runner sprint) we think that Big Country has a great chance in the Smart Money’s On Coral Handicap at 3.15, even if the market doesn’t. Have a modest each way bet at a tasty 11-1.
Bon chance, mes amis.
Ranch Hand 4.10 Newmarket 2pts win @ 9-2
Who Dares Wins 4.10 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 28-1 (8 places SkyBet)
Great Trango 4.10 Newmarket 1.5 pts e/w @ 16-1 (8 places SkyBet)
Mythical 2.20 Newmarket 4pts win @ 11-4
Max Vega 2.20 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 9-1
Molatham 2.55 Newmarket 4pts win @ 9-4
Lampang 2.40 York 8pts win @ 5-4
Big Country 3.15 York 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (2 places)