Hanbury Racing is back with his weekly Each-Way Double for Saturday's ITV Racing at Newmarket & York.
The Cesarewitch is my favourite staying racing in the racing calendar, it’s always full of National Hunt types whose stamina is well suited to cope with the demands of the 2m 2F trip.
It’s, therefore, no surprise to see the powerful jumps stables of Willie Mullins and Nicky Henderson dominate winning the last four running’s and their representatives are unsurprisingly prominent in the betting with Gibraltar and a Horsewithnoname looking their strongest chances.
This normally attracts a maximum field limit of 34 runners, but only 23 line up today, which is a sorry state of affairs for the industry, when the most prestigious staying handicap of the season is only two-thirds full.
Nevertheless, it gives us a better chance of picking out the winner and reduces the bias in assisting the lowly drawn horses.
Consequently, I like the look of PRINCE IMPERIAL who looks to be one of the flat contingent that has been laid out for this year’s race.
He is now a five-year-old and mature enough to cope with the trip, but with only sixteen runs is still relatively unexposed, especially at this extreme trip.
Prince Imperial was originally owned and bred by the late Prince Khalid Abdullah and trained by Sir Michael Stoute but was sold on as a three-year-old before he stepped into staying trips.
He was snapped up for 50000 guineas by Highclere Racing and Richard Hughes has trained him with a long-term target of winning today’s race.
The gelding didn’t disappoint when stepping up in trip and has looked impressive at times showing stamina and speed, the ideal qualities required to win the Cesarewitch.
His two runs this season have both been at Newmarket, his latest being a perfect prep race in the Cesarewitch trial where he finished a close second. Pat Cosgrave gave Prince Imperial a fairly easy time in the final furlong and was happy to come second which prevented another hike in the weights,
At current odds of 25/1, he looks well overpriced, and I recommend 1 point each way.
These 6F sprints at York are devilishly competitive with so many of the horses running against each other throughout the season taking it in turns to beat other.
I put up Gulliver in the Ayr Gold Cup a couple of weeks ago, but he was beaten by the draw and having won this race twice in the last two years and being well handicapped he has an obvious chance, but again he looks to have been drawn on the wrong side again and I have to leave him alone, but he is worth a saver if the high numbers come out on top.
A low draw is the percentage call at York and Lucky Call is in fine form, placing in the Ayr Gold Cup and winning at York earlier this year, he is edging up the handicap but will be hard to keep out of the placings and looks value at current odds of 11/1.
However there looks to be a standout improver with DUSKY LORD blowing away his rivals in the consolation Ayr Silver Cup.
From a mid-draw he drifted away from the favoured far side and led the field, pulling clear in the final furlong to win impressively.
He has been raised 9lb for that win but seems to be a better horse stepped up to 6F, and the recently applied cheekpieces seem to help him concentrate better on the job at hand.
With a plum draw in stall one Dusky Lord has the benefit of the rail this time keeping him arrow straight he has every chance of following up at excellent odds of 8/1.
I recommend a 2-point win.