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Weekend Horse Racing Blog - Cesarewitch Weekend at Newmarket


Avoid Cesarewitch Favourites

Favourite backers should approach the conundrum of the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket on Saturday afternoon with caution.

Only three outright Cesarewitch favourites have won the race this century. The two miles and two furlong ‘Together for Racing International’ sponsored handicap race over the Rowley Mile course has a maximum field of 34 runners.

The current ante post favourite, Great White Shark, is trading at 8/1 with bet365*, but be warned – backing the favourite blindly would have lost you money since 2000.

The race will be shown live on ITV Racing and has prize-money of £124,500 to the winner.

The completion of a big handicap treble!

15 years ago the popular Sergeant Cecil got up to win the Cesarewitch under Alan Munro for Devon-based trainer Rod Millman ?#GoldSeason pic.twitter.com/x0ZZHeJCfo

— Newmarket Racecourse (@NewmarketRace) October 7, 2020


Here are 20-year betting trends for the Class 2 heritage handicap for horses aged three and older and run over testing 2 miles and 2 furlongs:

  • Average price of the winner – Over 21/1
  • Range of SP’s – 9/2 to 66/1
  • Number of outright winning favourites – 3
  • Winners at less than 10/1 – 4
  • Winners from 10/1 to 50/1 – 14
  • Winners at over 50/1 – 2
  • Most common range of winner’s SP’s: Six at 10/1 to 12/1.

Additionally, 7 of the last 20 winners carried more than nine stones and the most common winning age is four with six wins.

Ten of the successful trainers mainly operate in National Hunt racing.

Aim To Prosper is the only multiple winner over this spell (2010 and 2012).


Cesarewitch Betting Picks

After crunching the data based on the above Cesarewitch betting trends we find these two horses fit the bill…
Just Herbert (16/1 with SportNation) and Mondain (16/1 with Betfair).

It’s worth noting that Mondain’s Official Rating (OR) will be higher in future races so we may have identified a potentially good value bet for the Cesarewitch but it is a notoriously difficult race to predict.

It’s also worthing pointing out that you can easily get enhanced each way betting terms on Saturday’s feature Cesarewitch Handicap race (3.35pm, Newmarket) if you shop around. Many bookies such as Betfair and Paddy Power will be paying 5 places and some may even pay six places or more on the day.


Good Record for Dewhurst Favourites

Followers of the horse betting odds markets are on safer ground with the Dewhurst Stakes because seven of the eight favourites sent off even-money or shorter for the Dewhurst Stakes in the last ten years have won.

The most prestigious race for juvenile colts, it often identifies the winter favourite in next year’s 2000 Guineas betting.

There have been six odds-on winners since 2010 and only one horse won the race at double figure odds. Irish supremo Aidan O’Brien has trained the winner four times from 2013 to 2017.

This year’s renewal over the last seven furlongs of the Rowley Mile at Newmarket looks an open contest and at the time of writing there was a 2/1 favourite with Paddy Power, Chindit.


Thunder Moon Can Shine

The Dewhurst is not a race for outsiders so we should focus on the top three in the betting. Chindit and Alkumait will have their backers but the horse we prefer is Thunder Moon (3/1 with Unibet).

Trained by Aidan’s son Joseph, Thunder Moon has earned the highest Official Rating. The trainer was the winning jockey in 2013, aboard the 10/11 favourite, War Command, in the care of his Dad.

Thunder Moon has won two races from two starts, the latest being the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh last month. The horse could be the SP favourite but not at odds on.


Fillies’ Mile Excellent Trial For 1,000 Guineas

Love was third in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket last season but then won the 1,000 Guineas and the Oaks. Quadrilateral won the race but was only third in the Classic the following May.

Minding and Rhododendron were winners for Aidan O’Brien in 2015 and 2016. Minding won the 1,000 Guineas the following spring and Rhododendron was second in her Classic year. There will certainly be a big market move in the 1,000 Guineas betting odds if there is an impressive winner of the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket on Friday afternoon.

Pretty Gorgeous (7/2 with bet365*) could be the first leg of a double in the Group 1’s for juveniles trained by Joseph O’Brien. The horse is closely matched in form with Shale who comes from the stable of his brother, Donnacha.

O’Brien senior runs two outsiders but the race could be a battle between horses trained by his two sons. Pretty Gorgeous could be more progressive and win the race. She would then be a leading contender for the 1,000 Guineas.


And finally…

Now the Arc is behind us the horse racing focus will shift to the National Hunt jumps racing season which will keep us entertained with lots of quality races featuring some familiar names.

The cancellation of the 2020 Grand National due to COVID-19 meant that the mighty Tiger Roll was not given the chance to make equine immortality by winning three Grand Nationals in three years.

The 2020 race will not take place but perhaps it could have been rescheduled for the October or November meeting at Aintree.

The fences and infrastructure are in place so it would have seemed like the obvious decision but clearly the idea is not feasible especially in these ever-changing and uncertain times.


* Horse racing odds quoted were correct at time of article publication.