Autumn is well and truly in the air now, as a handful of British Horseracing industry workers found out for themselves at a rather nippy Newmarket at the weekend.
Saturday of course saw the climax of the three-day Newmarket Cambridgeshire meeting, with the feature race- the Cambridgeshire Handicap, being won by the 40/1 outsider Majestic Dawn under Paul Hanagan.
Returning from a back injury that almost ended his career earlier this year, Hanagan bagged the rail from the get-go and the others never saw the pair of them for dust.
Having spent six months on the sidelines after breaking his back at Newcastle in February, the victory naturally meant the world to an emotional Hanagan:
“It was a very tough time but days like this make it all worthwhile. I’ve got so many people to thank like the team at Jack Berry House, family and friends, Richard Fahey and my agent Richard Hale, who hardly ever gets a mention but has been fantastic. I’ve been with him my whole career and he’s been behind me from day one.”
On the subject of The Cambridgeshire, a big shout out has to go to Rory Delargy of The Irish Field, who pulled Majestic Dawn out of the hat and almost cemented himself the top position in the Racing Post Naps table.
After some top tipping all season, Delargy had already been sitting at the top of the table for some time, however after landing a 40/1 beauty on Saturday, it would take a brave man to bet against him taking top honours now.
As I alluded to last week, the Newmarket meeting was always going to provide us with plenty of clues for next year’s Classics, so let’s take a closer look at those all important winners:
Clive Cox’s Isabella Giles (11/5) scored a decisive victory in the Rockfel Stakes, with Cox saying: “I think she is definitely a filly to get a mile next year, which is really exciting. I’m delighted for Clare and Paul Rooney to have such an exciting possibility as a Classic contender. I’m over the moon.”
A trip to the US could be next for New Mandate (9/4 fav) the winner of the Royal Lodge, Trainer Ralph Beckett really fancies going for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, for which he is a general 10/1 with bet365*
There were glasses raised as Alcohol Free just prevailed in a tight finish in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes for Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy. The filly was given a quote of 20/1 at Betfair for next year’s 1000 Guineas.
Supremacy held off Lucky Vega to take the Middle Park Stakes. Clive Cox said of his youngsters: “We’ve had a tremendous season, especially with the two-year-old crop as they have been amazing”.
All in all it was a decent three days of racing at Newmarket but I would be surprised if we saw the 2021 Guineas winners come out of the fixture, but then again I may be proved wrong.
Who will Triomphe in Paris?
All eyes will be on the French capital next weekend as ParisLongchamp hosts the 99th Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe weekend.
Sadly the meeting is effectively behind closed doors, except for just 1,000 people who will be made up of owners, trainers, jockeys, staff and media. It’s a real shame because it’s one of the best renewals of the Arc in years and also Enable’s swansong, yet there will only be a handful of people there to experience it.
The prospect of testing conditions for the Arc has increased over the last few days, with the going officially described as very soft on Monday. With the potential for more rainfall this week, we could very well see a heavy ground Arc come Sunday.
With going doubts about the top two in the betting (Enable and Love), it may prove prudent to back a couple of outsiders who should handle the underfoot conditions.
Way To Paris (50/1 with bet365*), Telecaster (25/1 with Unibet) and In Swoop (20/1 with bet365*) are all worth a speculative each-way Arc bets in my opinion.
* All betting odds quoted were correct at the time of article publication.