James Doyle enjoyed a tremendous day at Ayr last Saturday winning the Ayr Gold Cup on Louis the Pious to bag a treble. I think this smooth operator can bag another big Saturday winner today in the 35 runner Cambridgeshire aboard Niceofyoutotellme trained by Ralph Beckett.
Yesterday, I spent way too much time trying to figure out this puzzle and following two hours of form study still had 12 runners on my shortlist! Yes, the Cambridgeshire is the puzzle of all puzzles as many a favourite and eye catcher lines up in the largest field handicap of the year. After another hour of tinkering about I was left with three and just couldn’t leave one out so with William Hill paying out on 7 places and Skybet & Ladbrokes paying out on 6 places let’s throw three darts at picking the winner.
Niceofyoutotellme is joined by Bronze Angel & Buckstay with all three sure to enjoy the good/firm ground. Niceofyoutotellme loves Newmarket having a fantastic record here of two victories although he did disappoint in the silver Cambridgeshire last season. He is very lightly races for a five year old (foot problems) having just raced 15 times and has won four times. He has been freshened up since finishing down the field at Glorious Goodwood but on that occasion he was held up at the back before coming with a strong run up the middle of the track to be just behind the leaders before tiring over the final ½ furlong. Today’s 9 furlongs off a strong pace should suit perfectly as he showed when getting the better of Ajmany over course and distance back in May of this year. Niceofyoutotellme is nicely drawn in stall 14 and James Doyle has the option of deciding whether to track the low or high drawn numbers.
Bronze Angel is a horse I have been tracking for a while without getting him on a winning day. I backed him at Ascot in July over 7 furlongs but he really does need a mile of further to show his best as well as fast ground. Luckily conditions look spot on today for this consistent sort to follow up with another victory having won this race back in 2012 as a three year old. He is pretty high in the handicap running off a mark of 99 but crack apprentice Louis Steward claims 5lbs and that allows him to compete off a 94 which is actually a pound lower than when he won in 2012. Similar to Niceofyoutotellme he is drawn in the middle (stall 11) and can track the pace of the low numbers or tack across to the stands side if needs be later in the race. Marcus Tregoning won with him in 2012 so he knows what it takes to claim this big handicap & has Bronze Angel in top shape all year.
Finally, I like the chances of Buckstay who is a very big price coming from the Peter Chapple-Hyam yard whose string is running very well presently. This horse caught my eye when pulling clear with Extremity at Glorious Goodwood only to be beaten a short head on the line. Buckstay was carrying 9-10 that day giving a full 10lbs to the three year old winner. A 6lb hike by the handicapper might seem harsh but that looks lenient following the recent efforts of Extremity who lines up today off 98 having gone up gone up a full stone since beating Buckstay as a result of a victory at Thirsk. Yet the market has Buckstay well over twice the price of Extremity today! Buckstay is handicapped to beat Extremity and is well drawn in stall 10 similar to our other two selections. At 28/1 he is well overpriced & looks sure to give us a great run having no trip concerns and sure to enjoy the fast ground similar to when going so close at Goodwood.
Selection A – 1 Point *EW Niceofyoutotellme Newmarket 15:50 16/1 William Hill 7 places else 16/1 Ladbrokes & Skybet 6 places
Selection B – 1/2 Point *EW Bronze Angel Newmarket 15:50 16/1 Ladbrokes 6 places else 14/1 William Hill 7 places
Selection C – 1/2 Point *EW Buckstay Newmarket 15:50 33/1 Skybet or 28/1 Ladbrokes both 6 places
Best of luck,