Cleonte can out kick rest from kind draw
THE draw is more important than you might think in the Cesarewitch. Although the runners are tackling 2m2f, they are only getting into their stride when hitting the sharp right-hand bend at Newmarket.
That can cause all sorts of problems to horses caught out wide who either lose a lot of ground or have to waste precious energy making sure they are in a good position. That’s not to say it isn’t possible to win from a very high number but it’s a clear disadvantage to be in the top third.
Looking at the table, only one horse coming from wider than 24 has managed to win in the past ten runnings.
Another important trend is to have won a race over 2m or further which is something a surprising number of Cesarewitch hopefuls haven’t managed.
You want to stick with horses that have performed at a decent level, ideally in this Class 2 with a run at Listed or higher something else to look out for.
Weight carried is also important as it’s taken a special performance to shoulder more than 9st and the two that managed it were big outsiders at 66s and 50/1. Horses at the high and low extremes of the handicap have had a tough time.
It’s a plus to have finished no worse than sixth last time and you want a horse having at least its fifth race of the campaign.
From the 34 facing the starter this time, there are a couple of interesting contenders.
Law Girl ticks a lot of boxes but has not won beyond 1m5f on the Flat, although she has over hurdles. This is the first time Willie Mullins has upped her past that winning trip and she has the right sort of weight and profile.
One that is worth a close look is CLEONTE.
He is a couple of pounds higher in the weights than you may like but he’s still only shouldering 9st for Oisin Murphy. The draw has been kind enough with stall seven and he was an impressive Class 2 winner over 2m at Ascot last time out.
He was a Listed winner in France before joining Andrew Balding who has taken a while to get to the bottom of him. That win in the Shergar Cup Stayers followed an excellent run in the JLT Cup at Newbury and he looks a better horse than the one that started the campaign.
Of course, he will need luck in running but he showed an impressive finishing kick last time and that will be needed in this massive field.
Older horses don’t have the best of records in York’s Coral Sprint Trophy at 3.15 where it also pays to stick with past winners over the 6f trip.
Past experience of the Knavesmire is a real plus as the track doesn’t suit every horse. From those that have tasted success there, only Major Jumbo and GOLDEN APOLLO have been lucky with a low draw.
The latter gets the nod and is only 3lb higher than when running really well here in July and his claiming jockey takes that off today. Being a son of Pivotal this distance with some cut in the ground is ideal and he rarely runs a bad race at York.
The Autumn Stakes at Newmaket (2.25) usually goes to a horse that finished first or second last time out.
It’s not been a race for horses having just their second outing which knocks out a couple of the fancied runners. Looking at those still standing, it seems a good chance for French hope PERSIAN KING.
Trainer Andre Fabre is famous for bringing a horse across the Channel only if he thinks it will win. His raider is taking a step up in class here but he has won his past two outings at Chantilly without breaking sweat.
He will need to improve on that but looks a solid prospect based on the trends.
Finishing speed: Cleonte powers home in Shergar Cup