Oriental Fox heads our three against the field in the Cesarewitch


Solving the puzzle that is Newmarket’s 35-runner Cesarewitch handicap could be seen as being on par with cracking the Enigma Code, such is the challenge.

And with the average starting price in the last 10 years being just shy of 28/1, including three winners at bigger than 50/1, following the betting can even be a bit of a red herring.

David Pipe’s Low Key looks a worthy favourite having won the Ceserewitch Trial over course and distance in good style, but with previous renewals in mind we have picked out three against the field at bigger prices.

Oriental Fox – 18/1

He may be giving at least 10lbs to all but six of his 35 rivals, but this race signals a major drop in class for Mark Johnston’s horse.

This will be just a second foray into handicap company in two years for the seven-year-old, with Group company now looking his standard.

He’s been placed in a Group 2 and a Group 3 in France on his last two outings on ground that probably wouldn’t have been ideal, including finishing well in front of Prix De Cadran one-two Mille Et Mille and Kicky Blue last time out.

Another note of comfort is that he has run well carrying big weights in the past. His keenness hindered his chances in the Northumberland Plate when finishing sixth carrying 9-10 last term, while he managed the same position in this very race two years ago off just 2lbs lower.

One expects he has improved more than his increase in mark suggests in those subsequent 24 months, and with a nice inside draw could go well.

Oriental Fox - An explosive winner of the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot

Oriental Fox: An explosive winner of the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot


Noble Silk – 20/1

Here’s one for the trends followers. He may be a 33/1 shot, but with five of the last seven victors returning at 16/1 or bigger, he ticks one box. The gelding is also the only remaining entrant to match all of the following patterns:

  • – Of the last 11 winners, 10 were in the first four on their last flat start
  • – Eight of the last 10 victors were rated between 87 and 98
  • – Just one winner in the last 19 years had yet to win over two miles
  • – Nine of the last 12 winners had previously contested a Listed or Group race
  • – Only two horses in the last 19 winners have won the Cesarewitch having run fewer than three times that year
  • – 14 of the last 19 winners had won a Class 2 or Class 3 handicap
  • – The last 10 horses to win this race all competed at Class 3 or above on their most recent start

Oisin Murphy takes the ride for Lucy Wadham, and with the Irishman making the frame on three of his four rides aboard the grey, the duo could be a solid each-way bet.


Oisin Murphy: Seeking another big handicap win after Ebor success


Gavlar – 22/1

With six lengths to find on the current favourite Low Key after their meeting in the trial for this race it would be easy to disregard the chances of William Knight’s charge.

However with the victor that day now set to carry a 4lb penalty, and 7lb claimer Callum Shepherd getting the leg up on the selection, the four-year-old is now effectively 11lbs better off.

And at three times the price he looks a very attractive option.

This kind of trip looks to be perfect for him with form over distances between 2m and 2m2f reading 411313 and the potential for changeable ground not an issue.

He is now just 4lbs higher than his last winning mark, that coming when staying on well from the back at Kempton in August under his big race jockey.

He may find one or two too good, but he has a real chance to make the frame.


Gavlar: Won his last two when Callum Shepherd has been onboard

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.