Cesarewitch Handicap Tips
As we approach the final month of the Flat Season (hands up if you’ve started planning for Cheltenham yet!), we have here the chance to see the second leg of the historic Autumn Double, the Cesarewitch Handicap.
Early October each year sees Newmarket play host to the the Cesarewitch Handicap. Taking place over the marathon trip of 2m2f this Heritage Handicap was first run at Newmarket way back in 1839. Open to all runners aged three and older, the event now offers a total prize pot of an impressive £250,000. With such a huge sum on show the Cesarewitch usually attracts a top class field and this year is most certainly no different.
NB – We’ve also got Dewhurst Stakes betting tips and offers for the other big race this weekend!
Cesarewitch Handicap Tips and 2019 Race Preview
The flat racing season on turf is beginning to draw to a close. There are, however, still some excellent betting heats in the weeks ahead, of which the Cesarewitch Handicap is arguably the biggest of the lot. Whilst this is a very tough contest for punters to get a handle on, the rewards are often huge for those who call the winner correctly so let’s have a look at what it takes to win this 2 mile 2 furlong handicap.
Long Odds Not a Problem
Since 2012, three Cesarewitch Handicap winners have gone in at massive odds of 50/1 or greater. On the flip side, the last 15 renewals have seen three winning favourites. This is a race that the bookies find as difficult to call as punters so there really is no trend to follow in terms of the odds.
Better things to follow include a proven ability to win over at least 1m6f and fitness (ignore horses who haven’t run in the last two months). The stats also show that it makes sense to support horses carrying a maximum of 9st 2lb whilst those drawn in the lower stalls have had a slight edge.
Land Of Oz the Pick of the Favourites
Winning three-year-olds are a rare thing in the Cesarewitch Handicap. It certainly takes a special, hardened horse to win under the age of four and connections of Land Of Oz are hopeful that he has what it takes.
There is no doubt that Land Of Oz is improving. He heads to Newmarket on the back of a double, first beating just three rivals over 2 miles on the all weather at Kempton before winning a 12 runner contest over 2 miles, 2 furlongs on good to firm ground at Newmarket.
Land Of Oz has shown enough stamina to suggest that the softening of the ground at Newmarket compared to his win in September will not pose too much of a problem. His performances in competitive handicaps over the course of the season have seen his rating rise considerably but he gets an allowance due to his age and is only carrying 8st 1lb so has every chance of landing the £218,000 winning prize.
Can Carnwennan Grab a Place?
Connections of Carnwennan will be watching the weather forecast very carefully indeed right up until the start of the Cesarewitch. Their four-year-old looked much better on good ground last time out at York and has found it tough when asked to compete in softer conditions.
Stevie Donohoe will no doubt be looking to lead Carnwennan to the firmest part of the track at Newmarket on Saturday. If he finds some suitable ground, this battling gelding should be right in the mix in the closing stages. It’s then a matter of if he can hang tough and claim a place or even go all the way and win.
Land Of Oz is the standout pick from the head of the betting market. He has the class to win this race even if his age will be a concern for some. Class is only one part of the puzzle though and backing just one horse for the Cesarewitch is a gamble in itself so complement a bet on Land Of Oz to win at 7/1 with bet365 with an each way play on Carnwennan at 40/1 with Paddy Power.
- 2018 – Low Sun – jockey Seamie Heffernan, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2017 – Withold – jockey Silvestre de Sousa, trainer Roger Charlton
- 2016 – Sweet Selection – jockey Silvestre de Sousa, trainer Hughie Morrison
- 2015 – Grumeti – jockey Adam Beschizza, trainer Alan King
- 2014 – Big Easy – jockey Tom Queally, trainer Philip Hobbs
- 2013 – Scatter Dice – jockey Silvestre De Sousa, trainer Mark Johnston
- 2012 – Aaim To Prosper – jockey Kieren Fallon, trainer Brian Meehan
- 2011 – Never Can tell – jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer Jamie Osborne
- 2010 – Aaim To Prosper – jockey Louis Beuzelin, trainer Brian Meehan
- 2009 – Darley Sun – jockey Andrea Atzeni, trainer David Simcock
- 2008 – Caracciola – jockey Eddie Ahern, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2007 – Leg Spinner – jockey Johnny Murtagh, trainer A J Martin
- 2006 – Detroit City – jockey Jamie Spencer, trainer Philip Hobbs
Race History and Top Jockeys/Trainers
Tsesarevich Alexander of Russia led quite the eventful life in his efforts to reform his country. Efforts which seemingly didn’t always go down too well, with Alexander surviving various bullets and a bomb in his dining room during his 62 years.
Whilst not everyone was a fan of his back home, at least the Jockey Club showed their appreciation in naming this race in his honour. No doubt partially influenced by a £300 donation from Alexander, the English version of Tsesarevich has been used in the race’s title ever since its inaugural running in 1839.
Together with the Cambridgeshire Handicap run at the same track, this race forms the Autumn Double. Considering the Cambridgeshire trip of 1m1f is exactly half that of this marathon contest, it is a rare beast indeed who can prevail in both races. The feat is seldom even attempted these days, but Roseberry, Foxhall and Plaisanterie all did the double in the first 30 years of the race.
Famous winners of more recent times include the excellent dual purpose performers, Nomadic Way (1988), Landing Light (2003) and Detroit City (2006). Perhaps the best of all though was the Dermot Weld star Vintage Crop. In addition to winning this in 1992, the globetrotting great also won two Irish St. Legers and the Melbourne Cup. We must also give a nod to the Brian Meehan runner, Aaim To Prosper, who is the only horse to ever win this twice.
Top Trainers and Jubilant Jockeys
Matthew Dawson was one of the most successful of the 19th Century trainers with a remarkable 28 Classic wins to his name. His contemporary William Day didn’t manage to quite scale those heights, but did record three Classic successes of his own. With four wins apiece, the aforementioned pair share the honour of being the most successful trainers in the history of this race. Of the more modern day trainers it is Mark Johnston who has fared the best, with three wins between 1998 and 2013.
Doug Smith is the man to sit atop the jockeys table here with six wins between the years of 1939 and 1966. Remarkablly consistent throughout his career, Smith was champion jockey five times and finished as runner up on a further seven occasions.