Air Pilot's Cambridgeshire Run Still In Doubt
The John Gosden-trained Cornrow, our 14-1 ante-post selection for Saturday’s Betfred Cambridgeshire at Newmarket, is guaranteed a place in the nine furlong Heritage handicap as the four-year-old currently stands at number 26 in the contest which has a maximum permitted field of 35, but connections of recent impressive Newbury scorer Air Pilot will have to wait until the final declaration stage on Thursday to find out if the 8-1 favourite has made the cut for the race worth just short of £100,000 to the winner.
96 Horses stood their ground at the six-day stage for the historic contest first run in 1839 with Ralph Beckett’s improving son of Zamindar, despite a 4lb penalty for his comfortable victory over First Flight at the weekend, still requiring a further ten horses above him in the handicap to drop out in order to gain a place, something which appears unlikely at this late stage. Such was the style of the five-year-old’s victory at the Berkshire venue that a hefty rise in his current rating of 87 is a foregone conclusion, of which his trainer said: ” I would really like to run him in the Cambridgeshire but I don’t think he’ll get in.
“I’m not sure I want to run him in the Silver Cambridgeshire on Friday but I haven’t made up my mind. He’s going to go up 10-14lb for Newbury. He’ll be difficult to place from now, but is owner-bred and the mare is still alive with the owner. I have to factor that in as well.”
Last year’s winner Educate tops the weights on 9st 10lb in an effort to become the first back-to-back winner since Prince de Galles in 1969/70 but time may show that the concession of 16lb to our selection Cornrow ( 10-1 with most bookmakers including Bet365, Betfred and Ladbrokes ) is asking the impossible from Ismail Mohammed’s charge.