Cesarewitch Handicap 2013 Preview

The Cesarewitch Handicap  is one of the most valuable staying races on the calendar in the UK and is always a very competitive race. There will be a maximum field of 34 on Saturday and there have been a number of significant moves in the betting market in the build-up to the race.

The Favourites

Tiger Cliff has been ante-post favourite for the past month but the prospect of carrying top weight of 9st 10lb has resulted in his price drifting out in recent days. Lady Cecil’s Ebor winner has had a long break but is only 6lbs higher than when winning at York.

He runs in the same colours as Nicky Henderson’s Lieutenant Miller who has been a model of consistency this season. Henderson has won the race twice previously and this has been the target for Lieutenant Miller for some time. Ryan Moore has been booked to ride but both horses must overcome an unfavourable high draw in order to get a good position in this large field.cesarewitch

Sir Mark Prescott’s Pallasator has only had one race this season when staying on into third at Haydock behind Platinum. He has a good draw in stall 7 and, providing that he settles early on, must have a good chance of finishing in the first four.

French raider Smoky Hill has been all the rage with his price dropping from 16-1 to 8-1 with Bet365 over the past week. Trainer Mikel Delzangles is confident that he will stay this extreme distance and the grey looks to have been very leniently treated by the handicapper.

Domination comes here on the back of two victories in hurdle races in Ireland. He is a course winner having won the Cesarewitch Trial in 2012 but connections have warned that he does not want the ground soft.

The Challengers

Mark Johnston has three runners in the field, the best of which could be Trial winner Oriental Fox. He won very easily that day under Johnny Murtagh but is now joint top-weight with his penalty.

Johnston’s Broxbourne has won seven races this season but appears to have lost her form slightly in her most recent outings. Big Easy represents a National Hunt yard that has won this race in the past whilst Brockwell has been well-backed during the week despite not having won all season.

Platinum is on a winning streak and was impressive at Haydock. He is probably the most progressive horse in the field but his ability to last this distance has to be taken on trust.

The Outsiders

Nicky Henderson also saddles Earth Amber with Richard Hughes in the saddle. Seaside Sizzler would have a chance on his very best form, although he has been drawn very wide and may have to use up valuable energy early in the race.

Apprentice star Oisin Murphy rides Royal Ascot winner Chiberta King for Andrew Balding whilst Roger Charlton is doubly represented with Clowance Estate and Waterclock.

The veteran Nanton runs for Scotland whilst Sign Manual provides the royal interest in the colours of Her Majesty The Queen.

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