3.40 Newmarket: Class 2 Cesarewitch Handicap, 2m 2f
The lottery that is the Cesarewitch stampede along the Rowley Mile – can’t remember I ever backed a horse that came even near the eventual winner. Could it be different today?
I have a sneaky feeling Mark Johnston’s tough colt Time To Study is undervalued in this contest. The only three year old in the race, despite a 4lb penalty for a gritty success at Doncaster last month, looks well in off his low weight thanks to WFA.
How much difference that can make in a 2m 2f contest is a fair question, however the lightly raced colt has been on the upward curve all year long and still had ‘only’ five starts this year – for a Mark Johnston horse that’s on the low end of the scale.
Time To Study is rather smallish in size, however is all heart as proven in the Mallard Handicap against some tough older opposition a good four weeks ago. Stamina is no issue, the ground, though, may be quick enough.
Tactically I would be surprised if jockey PJ McDonald doesn’t move forward to settle Time To Study close enough to the pace – that should ensure a fair run, if anything.
10pts win – Time To Study @ 14/1 Bet365
4.50 Newmarket: Listed Boadicea Stakes, 6f
A biggish field but not many in it appear to be any better than the grade. The one who is is clearly Queen Kindly. It’s true that she has to carry a 3lb penalty and also has been slightly disappointing all year.
However her latest effort a very creditable 5th in the Group 1 Abbaye at Longchamp is by far the best in this field. The step up to 6f will surely be a help while the drop down into Listed company means she is the one to beat.
Fast ground does not pose any problems for her – she won a Group 2 on quick ground as a juvenile. I feel she is overpriced judged on the extra weight she has to carry, which I do believe does not make that much of a difference, though.
10pts win – Queen Kindly @ 5/1 Bet365
10.30 Keeneland: Grade 1 QE II Challenge Cup Stakes, 1m 1f
Open contest but I feel La Coronel has plenty of upside on her third start back home after a decent outing at Royal Asccot where she was only a good five lengths beaten by Winter.
She needed her home reappearance, though was much better last month in the Sands Point, when narrowly denied in the closing staged by Uni. She was pulling quite hard early on and looked a bit awkward in the home straight – so I feel if things go more to plan, she can clearly turn the form with Uni today.
Belmont Oaks winner New Money Honey has an excellent turf record, and back on this surface she is a major player. Also German 1000 Guineas Unforgettable Lady can run a big race.
10pts win – La Coronel @ 6/1 Skybet