Time to collect on Hughes
Before we get onto this week I thought it was worth mentioning Richard Hughes and his quest to become champion flat jockey for the first time. Without blowing my trumpet too loudly Hughes was put up a few months ago to get the better of Ryan Moore and although the unfortunate injury to Ryan has made things a lot easier for Richard, I still think he would have won the race anyway. Hopefully some of you latched onto this a few months ago as it's now just a case of sitting pretty until the flat season ends before we can go and collect.
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Onto this week and the weather is already starting to take its toll on a few meetings and we are only in September! So, let's hope things improve later in the week as all eyes will be on the three-day Newmarket Cambridgeshire Meeting, starting on Thursday.
The Channel 4 cameras will be at HQ on Friday and Saturday so arm chair punters will have plenty to look forward too, but it's the first leg of the Autumn double - the Betfred-sponsored Cambridgeshire Handicap - which is this weekend's feature contest.
Like always we can expect a healthy line-up ahead of this 1m1f Newmarket contest, so what are the main things to note when assessing the final field?
Age: If history is going to repeat itself in this race then we can just focus on the horses aged 6 or younger with all of the last 10 winners falling into that age bracket. If you want to take this trend further then you might want to only concentrate on the 4, 5 or 6 year-olds as they've been responsible for 80% of the last 10 Cambridgeshire winners.
Trip: Being run over the unique distance of 1m1f then speed, as well as stamina, will play their part, but with 9 of the last 10 winners having won over 1m2f previously then be sure to check back on winning distance form.
Career Wins: Having some degree of proven winning form has been another key attribute for recent winners with 90% of the last 10 having 3 or more career victories under their belts.
Favourites: Just 2 winning favourites in the last 10 years doesn't look the best of stats, but considering this race generally has 20+ runners each year then it's actually not too bad. That said, if you like taking on the favourite then you might want to do so in the place market as 7 of the last 10 jollies have actually failed to hit the frame.
Runs That Season: Coming into this ultra-competitive contest fit and with a fair amount of previous runs under their belts has also been a positive trend - In the last 10 runnings 7 winners had five or more outings that season.
Betting: I've already mentioned the record of the favourites, but don't be too put off if your fancy is being chalked up at a double (or even treble) figure price. The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 24/1, while don't forget that we had a 100/1 winner of the race back in 2004 too!
Weight: I'd say only an average stat, but with 6 of the last 10 winners carrying 8-12 or less then this might appeal to some, but if you wanted to take the weight trend a tad further then all of the last 10 winners carried 9-5 or less - you'll have to wait until the final card comes out on Thursday, but this might still knock a few out.
Recent Run: Again not a huge stat, but 6 of the last 10 winners finished 5th or better last time out, but it is interesting that only 1 of the last 10 victors won their previous outing.
Raced at Newbury Last Time Out: With 50% of the last 10 winners running at Newbury last time out then be sure to check if any fancies have been in recent action at the Berkshire venue.
Trainers: The John Gosden yard has the best recent record with wins in 2007 and 2008, while they also took the prize back in 1994 with Halling. Luca Cumani won the race in 1982 and 1986, while anything Sir Mark Prescott runs should be noted as he landed the spoils in 1988 & 2003.
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