Run over 2m2f on the Newmarket Rowley Mile course the Cesarewitch Handicap is one of the most popular betting races of the season. Along with the Cambridgeshire Handicap, that is run 2-3 weeks earlier, the two races are generally known as the Autumn Double and both contests are always ultra-competitive.
We take a look at the best stats ahead of the 2018 renewal that will hopefully allow you to whittle down the big field – this year run on Saturday 13th October. Did you know 12 of the last 16 winners returned a double-figure price in the betting, while we’ve seen just three winning favourites since 1993?
Recent Cesarewitch Handicap Winners
2017 – Withhold (5/1 fav)
2016 – Sweet Selection (7/1)
2015 – Grumeti (50/1)
2014 – Big Easy (10/1)
2013 – Scatter Dice (66/1)
2012 – Aaim To Prosper (66/1)
2011 – Never Can Tell (25/1)
2010 – Aaim To Prosper (16/1)
2009 – Darley Sun (9/2 fav)
2008 – Caracciola (50/1)
2007 – Leg Spinner (14/1)
2006 – Detroit City (9/2 fav)
2005 – Sergeant Cecil (10/1)
2004 – Contact Dancer (16/1)
2003 – Landing Light (12/1)
2002 – Miss Fara (12/1)
Cesarewitch Handicap Betting Trends
15/16 – Aged 4 or older
13/16 – Had won over at least 1m6f on the flat before
13/16 – Had run within the last 2 months
13/16 – Carried 9-1 or less
12/16 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
11/16 – Had 3 or more previous flat runs that season
11/16 – Finished 4th or better last time out
10/16 – Aged 5 or older
10/16 – Had won over at least 2m on the flat before
9/16 – Drawn in stall 12 or lower
9/16 – Winning distance – 1 length or less
9/16 – Had won 4 or more times on the flat before
8/16 – Ran at either Ascot, Chester or Doncaster last time out
8/16 – Had run at the track before
8/16 – Placed favourites
7/16 – The first three home ALL returned a double-figure price
7/16 – Won by a NH trainer
4/16 – Winning mares
3/16 – Winners from stall 1
3/16 – Ridden by Silvestre De Sousa
3/16 – Winning favourites
2/16 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/16 – Trained by Philip Hobbs
2/16 – Won last time out
The average winning SP in the last 15 years is 23/1
Just 2 winning favourites since 1993
Run over 2m2f, the Cesarewitch is one of the main flat handicap betting races of the year and with 20+ runners each year then it’s a race the bookies love to get stuck into. Twelve months ago though it was the punters that came out on top as the well-backed Withhold rewarded favourite backers and gave the champion jockey – Silvestre De Sousa – his third winning ride in the race since 2013!
With the race being first run in 1839, it’s a contest steeped in history and that also means bundles of decent trends to have on your side – let’s take a look at the last sixteen renewals and see what patterns standout.
When trying to whittle down the runners a good place to start is the AGE of your fancy. Horses aged 4 or older have won 15 of the last 16 runnings with Darley Sun (2009) being the only 3 year-old to win since 1999. Last year we saw another successful 4 year-old (Withhold), so that’s three of the last five winners aged four. However, it’s still worth noting that 10 of the last 16 winners were actually aged 5+. Therefore, in its current state the age stat really only rules out the 3 year-olds in my book.
Fitness heading into the race is another key thing to look for. Horses that come here having raced within the last 2 months are the ones to concentrate on – 13 of the last 16 tick this particular trend, while don’t be too concerned if your main picks are further down the betting market. Since the year 2000, 14 of those 18 winners returned a double-figure price. We’ve even had two 50/1 winners, including Grumeti in 2015, and two 66/1 returns in the last six renewals!
If we stick with the betting side of the stats, then, considering the competitive nature of the race, we’ve actually seen three winning favourites win the race since 2006 – which is a 25% strike-rate, plus the market leaders also have an fair recent record of hitting the frame (top 4) – 8 of the last 16 (50%).
Being a handicap then weight carried is another trend to look at. A massive 13 of the last 16 winners carried 9-1 or less – including last year’s winner – while coming here off the back of a promising recent run is other obvious plus – this is also supported with 11 of the last 16 winners running fourth or better in their most recent race.
Punters might also think that with the race being run over a trip of 2m2f then the draw isn’t a big deal – wrong! Having a good starting position can set horses up nicely in the race and this is backed-up with 9 of the last 16 winners being drawn 12 or lower – suggesting that having a good early position and also saving ground and energy, is another big advantage over this gruelling distance. Also, note horses in stall 1 as we’ve seen three of the last 16 (19%) landing the gold medal.
Having raced at Ascot, Chester or Doncaster last time is another trend to look with 8 of the last 16 renewals having been won by horses in action at one of those three tracks, while 8 of the last 16 winners had previous experience at the Newmarket (Rowley Mile) track.
Finally, being run over one of the longer trips on the flat, then it’s no real shock it’s a race that often attracts trainers that are better known for their National Hunt horses. 7 of the last 16 winners supports this with Philip Hobbs and Nicky Henderson being the most successful jumping yards in recent years – Hobbs landed the prize in 2006 and 2014, while Henderson took the honours in 2003 and 2008. The Alan King stable is another to have on your radar, having won the race in 2015 with Grumeti at a stonking 50/1, while these races are also targeted by top Irish handler – Willie Mullins. He saddled the third in 2018 and will be a shock if he’s not firing a few bullets at the prize again in 2019.
TQ VERDICT: Another big field to unravel here for the ultra-competitive Cesarewitch Handicap. A lot of key trends to note too, like 15 of the last 16 winners being aged 4 or older, while 13 of the last 16 had raced in the last 2 months and also carried 9st-1lb or less in weight. Leading jockey, Silvestre de Sousa is also a man to note as the pocket Brazilian has ridden three of the last five winners, including the last two. He rides the Neil Mulholland-trained VIS A VIS (e/w). This 4 year-old ticks a lot of the main trends too and gets in with just 8st 9lbs to carry. He’s won his last two, including beating another of today’s rivals – Just In Time – by an easy 2 ¾ lengths last time out at Kempton. He’s been freshened up for this with 2 months off and despite being 8lbs higher here looks a progressive stayer that should have more to come. The Willie Mullins yard are also out in force with the likes of Stratum, Limini, Low Sun, Whiskey Sour and Uradel coming over and all four have big chances. Stratum was unlucky in-running in the Ebor last time out and would have surely be involved that day had he not been hampered a few furlongs out. He’s a huge player, but poor value in a race like this. Limini is a big name in the jumping world but on the flat is also making her name for herself after winning 4 times from 9 starts and has also only been out of the frame once from her 9 runs on the level. She looks set to play a big part too. Stars Over The Sea was an easy winner of the trial to this race last month but is up 4lbs for that and might not be able to get an easy lead this time. So, the other three at bigger prices that interest me are PRECIOUS RAMOTSWE (e/w), UBER COOL (e/w) and HERE AND NOW (e/w). The first-named is sure to be popular with Gosden and Dettori teaming up again. She adds a bit of class to the race after running well in Group company the last three times and despite her big weight could be interesting now upped in trip. She’s only had 8 career runs so will have more to come and even though the 2m2f trip is a big unknown, connections must feel she’ll get it. The yard won the Ebor for the first time this season and will be looking for another first in this race. Uber Cool comes from the Jane Chapple-Hyam yard and heads here having won three of his last four. He found the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Ascot in June a bit too far (2m5f) but returned to win well at Yarmouth last month and with only 8st 11lbs gets in here with a nice racing weight. Finally, Here And Now was a fair fourth at Chester last time out but I think the key to him is the step back up in trip. He won well the time before at York over 2m after travelling really well through the race and I expect the long straight to suit him a lot better than the tight turns of Chester did last time out. Add in that the Ralph Beckett team are in good order at the moment then everything looks in place for a good run.