If there is a race where it has paid to back those towards the foot of the betting in recent years, then the Cesarewitch at Newmarket is the one.
The 2m2f handicap has only celebrated two winning favourites since 1993, while the average winning odds across the last 14 renewals has been 25/1.
However, the big-priced winners have been flooding in of late. Caracciola triumphed at 50/1 in 2008, Aaim To Prosper and Scatter Dice were successive 66/1 victors in 2012 and 2013, while Grumeti was another 50/1 winner 12 months ago.
So is another outsider due to land the spoils again in 2016? Our resident King Of Stats has run the rule over this year’s field of 36 entrants to see who appears the most likely winner based on the common trends among recent victors:
13 of the last 14 winners were aged four or older
Darley Sun is the exception to the rule with his success as a three-year-old in 2009. This only removes one runner from this year’s shortlist, but it is a significant entrant. St Michel is the ante-post favourite at 6/1 but is only aged three.
11 of the last 14 winners had run within the last two months
This discounts defending champion Grumeti, who has been rested since June. Starchitect hasn’t been seen on the racecourse since May, while The Minch last competed in early July.
11 of the last 14 winners carried 9-1 or less to victory
This trend removes a fair portion of runners from our shortlist, with 15 runners due to carry 9-2 or more this year.
These are Fun Mac, Oriental Fox, Shrewd, Seismos, Ennistown, Angel Gabriel, The Twisler, Mill Springs, Nakeeta, Blue Rambler, First Mohican, Yorkidding, Gabrial The Hero, Mistiroc and My Reward.
10 of the last 14 winners finished in the first four on their latest start
Showing a degree of positive form last time out has been a common trait among recent winners.
Unfortunately for Wind Place And Sho, Star Rider, Renneti and Modem, this quartet all finished unplaced on their last run. Teak was eighth and so is also written off, while Sea Of Heaven, Gabrial’s Star, Sweet Selection and Golden Spear were fifth.
11 of the last 14 winners had won over at least 1m6f on the flat before
Proven stamina is a good form guide to the Cesarewitch, with eight of the last 14 winners having winning form over 2m or further.
Of the remaining eight on the shortlist Montaly, Moonmeister and Leah Freya have won over no further than 1m4f, while Graasten has never triumphed over a trip longer than 1m2f.
Nine of the last 14 winners were drawn in stall 12 or lower
Considering three winners in this period have broken from stall one, it certainly seems a disadvantage to be drawn on the opposite side of the track.
This is bad news for Always Resolute, who couldn’t be worse drawn in stall 36, while Havana Beat will be right next door in stall 35.
After removing this pair from the shortlist, we are down to two possible winners – Life Less Ordinary (25/1) and The Cashel Man (16/1).
Considering only two of the last 14 victors came into this in winning form, preference is for The Cashel Man, who was second last month in a key Cesarewitch trial over course and distance off the same handicap mark of 89.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing