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Silver Cambridgeshire preview

Apologies for the late posting, please welcome to the blog a new contributor, and an old contact of mine, someone I taught in the Betfair Academy many years ago.
Welcome aboard Billy Blakeman.....


Following the relatively new trend of running the same big handicap twice, or even three times to allow those that did not make the cut for the big one a consolation race, the ‘Silver Cambridgeshire’ is run over the Cambridgeshire course and distance.

@five2tenracing specialise in 5f to 10f all-aged handicaps and here, chief analyst Billy Blakeman breezes through the 28-runners. Billy writes for a number of sites and his work can be found at BetRacingNation and his OLBG blog.

HAAFHD Handicap (Silver Cambridgeshire)
5.00 Newmarket
1m1f Class 2

1. NICEOFYOUTOTELLME - Improved on his 3-y-o form when winning an AW handicap in April and followed up on turf a couple of months later. Not gone on from that upped in class but slow start a valid excuse for his John Smiths Cup flop and then he was dealt a dreadful draw at Haydock, resulting in another game of catch up. Far from disgraced in that Haydock race in a hood (dispensed with here) and I like the fact he has proven his stamina over a bit further than this; could have more to offer.

2. BEAUMONT’S PARTY - Tough sort who will have a certain Ryan Moore for company this afternoon. Escapes a 4 lb rise for getting beat last time and whilst some will jump on that as evidence the horse is well handicapped, I am not convinced and a good run without winning looks the likely scenario for a horse who may need further.


4. BANCNUANAHEIREANN - This has almost killed my spellchecker and if I was a commentator, I would pretend I couldn’t see this horse! An admirable fourth in the Cambridgeshire itself in 2012 was not the first time the horse has placed in a big handicap but now a 6-y-o, he needs to find something more. Maybe Mr Fallon can help in that respect but maybe still more of a place than a win prospect.

5. SPIRIT OF THE LAW - Multiple winner across all ground types and a consistent animal to boot so a good start. Trained by Richard Fahey which is another obvious plus and Paul Hanagan takes over from regular partner, George Challoner.


7. SHAVANSKY - I am going to declare this 9-y-o a most unlikely winner.

8. TIGER’S TALE - Laid out for this race? “Sort of” according to trainer Roger Teal and given that the services of Richard Hughes have been secured, it is clear a good run is expected. Based on a trio of placed efforts over a mile this year, the horse is handicapped to go close and I fancy the extra furlong could well unlock some improvement on this return from a short break.

9. ALBAQAA - After a long season, I would be surprised if this veteran were able to take a race like this.

10. HEFNER - A winner over hurdles last September and wouldn’t be out of this on his best form. Perhaps a slight stamina doubt though.

11. ICEBUSTER - On a fair mark but 3/28 and others have more scope to improve.

12. MORPHEUS - Impeccably bred colt who is a half-brother to Frankel no less. Owned by Price Abdullah and trained by Lady Cecil, this 3-y-o looks to have just the right profile and comes here nice and fresh from a 6-week break.

13. GEORGE CINQ - Michael Bell trained 3-y-o and whilst it is fair to consider his stamina is in question, the trainer has no doubts. Has been kept away from fast ground but assuming he takes his chance, he has prospects re-united with Jamie Spencer who steered him to his last win. Wearing a hood second time.

14. STEVIE THUNDER - Out of form 8-y-o, stop there.

15. CLASSIC COLORI - 43 races so far and this 6-y-o is better in small fields.

16. CALAF - 4/38 and all wins in fields of 6 or less.

17. DREAM WALKER - Hugely improved for new yard and it makes you wonder what the old yard were doing! Quite possible the handicapper hasn’t yet got to him but softer ground may be a requisite.

18. ROYAL PRIZE - Had a long season but latest effort was much his best. Step up in trip in a bigger field could unlock further improvement from this 3-y-o and looks a contender.

19. BANK ON ME - Not managed to win any of his last 15-races and nothing in hand of his mark based on his last couple of efforts. However, well treated if you go back a bit further and I think he has a race like this in him. Drawn 27 and no surprise if he outran his odds.

20. CHRISTMAS LIGHT - Oisin Murphy the only positive about a 6-y-o mare whose form appears to be tailing off.

21. SCOTTISH STAR - I wouldn’t worry too much about the drop back in distance and could go well from a high draw. Prefer others though and 0-11 on grass.

22. ON MY OWN - 4-y-o colt who shot clear of his rivals here in July before suffering a 20-length defeat next time out at Redcar. Possible soft ground that day didn’t suit and so far from impossible if you can forgive that run.

23. DOLPHIN ROCK - Veteran of 47-races looks too exposed.

24. SILVER DIXIE - Progressive colt with Jeremy Noseda whose stamina is proven up to 12f. Handles quick ground just fine and has to be considered a prime contender, especially as 3-y-o’s have taken all three previous renewals of this race.

25. COPPERWOOD - Again I am going to be dismissive about an 8-y-o with plenty of miles on the clock.

26. SHEILA’S BUDDY - Had 29-races and yet to win this year but this 4-y-o looks on a cracking mark off 71. Previously run to a mark of 81 on fast turf, slow turf and polytrack so undoubtedly well-handicapped. Proven stamina and one of the better outsiders.


28. PELAMISM - Quirky, high-mileage come from behind sprinter basically so happy to leave him out today.

Summary - It goes without saying that there are many possible winners of this and there is no need to restrict yourself to one horse. I have to make a call though and number 1 on the card NICEOFYOUTOTELLME gets the nod for the reasons mentioned above. Fellow 4-y-o’s Sheila’s Buddy, Bank On Me and Tiger’s Tale all warrant close consideration.

From the classic generation, the pick of the contenders are Silver Dixie, Morpheus, George Cinq and Aussie Reigns.


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