If Ladbrokes customers are to be believed, there looks to be only two possible winners of the Cambridgeshire on Saturday.
With over 50 per cent of money staked on the race going on either Quick Jack or Sohar, there is reason to believe these two the ones to beat for the Newmarket contest.
So much has been the sheer volume of the bets placed on the pair that Ladbrokes have cut Quick Jack to 6/1 (from 8/1), while Sohar has come in from 33/1 into 20/1 in the past week.
The former warrants plenty of respect, having won a big handicap at the Galway Festival in July, he has now finished in the first two on his last nine starts. And there is reason to believe there is more to come from this late bloomer.
However, ploughing in on the five-year-old at such a short price in a contest such as this may not be wise.
In the last 40 years there have been just six winning favourites of the 2m2f race, with 66/1 victors in both of the last two renewals.
Therefore it may be worth chancing Sohar at three times the price.
James Toller’s charge seems to have a liking for staying contests at HQ, with form reading 2012 in contests over 1m6f or further at Newmarket.
He is only 1lb higher than when finishing fourth in an equally competitive Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting in June.
Jumping for joy at the home of flat racing
While this may be the last big handicap on the flat, the extreme distance means jumps trainers have a solid record in the contest.
Nine of the last 20 runnings have gone to handlers who specialise in sending their charges over the obstacles, and that figure could well rise again.
Philip Hobbs, winner of this race in 2006, sends out Big Easy who surely has a chance to reward backers at 12/1.
A runner up in a trial for this race over course and distance, he is set to run off the same mark again, and could run a go close.
Been there, done that
We may not have seen a trainer claim back to back runnings of this race in recent history, but some fare better than others.
Mark Johnston has claimed three victories, and needs to just one more to equal the 100 years+ old records of William Day and Matthew Dawson.
He’s certainly firing a number of bullets at the race with Sir Frank Morgan (40/1), Special Fighter (33/1) and perhaps most likely of the lot, Maid in Rio (20/1) set to line up for the Middleham handler.
With Johnston famed for the front-running style of many of his chances, it would be no surprise to see Joe Fanning or Franny Norton nick it from the front on their particular rides.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
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