12 Oct 2019

Emirates Cesarewitch Stakes (Heritage Handicap)

Today it’s the Cesarewitch, the annual cavalry charge named after Tsar Alexander II, the race that starts in Cambridgeshire and ends in Suffolk.

Prices up to 66/1 hit the frame and even occasionally win, so this is race tailor-made for each way players - with the layers vulnerable to 6 places, let alone the 7 or 8 places offered by some.

The question is how to spot genuine each way value?

Primarily, it stands to reason, you are looking for evidence of class and well-being that is somehow undervalued. Almost all horses who run well in this race ran a decent prep last time out - and for dual code runners, the successful ones always prep'd on the flat.

It's also worth noting that almost all recent winners carried less than 9-02 and many a good deal less than that. In terms of draw it starts to get tricky above stall 24, not impossible but most who try it fail.

After putting in several hours on this years' field, one who looks potentially well-overpriced is Mick Channon's BILLY RAY. Incidentally, a tangent on the subject of West Ilsley, if you've never read Mick Junior's book 'How's Your Dad?', it's excellent and very funny.

Billy Ray ran a terrific race in the very valuable Marsh Cup at Newbury this summer on the rain-softened ground that makes all the difference to him. In the process comfortably seeing off solid yardsticks Coeur de Lion and Who Dares Wins.

Afterwards, returned to fast ground, he was predictably bad in the Shergar Cup - the third time he's run badly at that venue from three starts. It looks safe to put a line through.

He wasn't stopping in the Marsh Cup and there's good reason to think this extended trip will suit. He's since had his wind tidied up and with the ground having come right they look to be throwing the kitchen sink at him today, with first time visor to boot. 

Billy Ray went up 3lbs for the Newbury run but is a net 2lbs lower as they are claiming 5lbs. His draw in 18 looks fine for a horse who travels well, buried away mid div and he has an ideal racing weight. 

I think the market has over-reacted to the Ascot run and his wind op, but we will see. Successful runners do tend to have run a good prep, but I think there are solid excuses in this case which has thrown the market off the scent. The Marsh Cup run was no fluke.

For a lightly raced stayer with an improving profile / great record on soft ground, 50/1 looks awfully big. If they have him right he could surprise a few people.

4.10 Newmarket, Billy Ray 1pt EW 50/1 to 7 places Paddy or 8 places Sky

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold betting thread on the ENIGMA forum

The Cesarewitch, the race that starts in Cambridgeshire and ends in Suffolk 

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