Cambridgeshire: Horse-by-horse guide
With Sky Bet paying six places to each-way punters on all Cambridgeshire bets placed from now on, Will Hayler takes a closer look at the 35 contenders for one of the most gloriously idiosyncratic contests of the Flat season.
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Area Fifty One (R Fahey)
Thrived in the early part of the season, exceeding trainer's expectations, but the effect of a couple of hard runs now looks to be getting on top of him and very hard to see him being able to dominate this big field.
Belgian Bill (G Baker)
Always looked the sort of horse to pick up a decent prize when everything fell right for him and so it proved when he took the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. However most recent effort in German Group race highlighted his inconsistency and lightning seems unlikely to strike twice.
Educate (I Mohammed)
Pitched into a Group Two last time after luckless run in Haydock handicap (which he frankly should have won) but solid fifth earned him nothing more than an unfortunate rise in the weights. Stable back among the winners after a quiet spell in midsummer and must be at the very top of the shortlist despite the slightly curious way in which he has been campaigned of late.
Field Of Dream (J Osborne)
Largely running well all season long, getting his head in front in the Bunbury Cup but performing with credit elsewhere too. Questions over this nine-furlong trip, despite the fact that he always seems to be finishing strongly over shorter distances, and others may be better-handicapped too but big-field handicaps clearly hold no fears.
Prince of Johanne (T Tate)
Grand money-spinner for connections having been placed to pick up more than one valuable handicap, but 12lb higher than when taking this race two years ago. Quick ground definitely in his favour, so wouldn't want any rain, but despite finishing down the field his last two runs haven't been without promise. Not discounted.
Strictly Silver (A Bailey)
Likeable improver who will lack for no stamina in this contest, but others look much better handicapped and hard to see him having the pace to figure.
Ascription (H Palmer)
Bronze Angel (M Tregoning)
Trainer enjoyed one of his finest recent hours when this horse landed a gamble in the same race 12 months ago. Setbacks earlier this season meant that for some time he was always going to have to start off here rather than have the prep connections might have preferred, but long way from impossible that he can hit the target off a mark just 6lb higher than last year given that he may well have improved physically in the interim.
Marcret (J Unett)
Changed stables (possibly more than once) after winning a claimer at Chester and only a fair effort on sole start for present yard. Possible to argue that present handicap mark isn't beyond him on old Group-race form, but looks a likely outsider in this line-up and frankly hard to fancy.
Arsaadi (W Haggas)
Refitting of blinkers fired her up for a big run in Ascot's Hunt Cup but hasn't won a race for more than two years ago and doesn't really seem to be giving the game her all at present.
Robert The Painter (D O'Meara)
Trainer is a dab hand with squeezing out extra improvement just when it seems that the handicapper is in control but even he may have his work cut out now this tough customer has reached 99 in the ratings. Another honest effort when third at Doncaster last time, but going to struggle to win this.
Chapter Seven (S Williams)
King's Warrior (P Chapple-Hyam)
Fury (W Haggas)
Maybe it was the sight of Frankel disappearing off into the distance in the 2000 Guineas that did for Fury, but to be frank he hasn't looked a happy horse ever since. A couple of different headgear combinations haven't really rekindled his enthusiasm, but on the plus side he is 8lb lower than when a decent second of his group in this race last year and coming here fresh is also likely to help. Interesting, albeit in a slightly masochistic way.
Danchai (W Haggas)
Nice payday for connections in John Smith's Cup earlier this season, but two subsequent starts from revised mark have been far less likeable. Repeat of his York form would give him a chance and interesting to see William Buick booked for the ride, but revival required urgently. Will blinkers prove the answer?
Nine Realms (W Haggas)
Seemed to appreciate forcing tactics when scoring at Ascot in August and possible that much softer ground was to blame when disappointing behind Top Notch Tonto at Haydock. Hard to weigh up.
Sam Sharp (I Williams)
Versatile performer who has registered two wins from two visits to York this year. Ground immaterial and still realistically handicapped despite latest success. This is tough but so is he.
Proud Chieftain (C Lines)
Has been flitting between handicaps and pattern races with little success this year. Has run with credit on several occasions recently but difficult to see his losing run come to an end here.
Tha'ir (S Bin Suroor)
Hasn't set the world alight since his victory in the Chesham at Royal Ascot last season but has managed to land a Newmarket handicap and is in good heart having finished second at Doncaster and Epsom on his last two starts. Could easily hit the frame but doesn't look overly progressive.
Gabrial The Great (L Cumani)
Was firmly put in his place by Ascription last time out at Doncaster but did finish in front of Levitate who boosted the form next time at Ayr. His profile is a bit hit-and-miss but it wouldn't be a total shock if he got his head in front.
The Rectifier (S Durack)
Won back-to-back handicaps at Redcar and York earlier on this term having been in the doldrums for the majority of last year when trained by Jim Boyle. Hasn't been at his best on his last two starts and may have just paid the price for those two earlier victories.
Captain Bertie (J Chapple-Hyam)
Connections went very close to landing last year's running with Mull Of Killough and have recently bought a similar type in the shape of this gelding. Winner of the Spring Cup at Newbury in 2012, he won a Chester handicap earlier this season and his Ripon third last time out will have put him spot on for this. Not out of it at all, particularly if rain arrives.
Queensbury Rules (W Haggas)
Unraced as a juvenile, he won his first two starts and his run in the Britannia at Royal Ascot (3rd) showed he could cope with the hurly burly of big-field handicaps. Although beaten favourite on his last start at York, he wasn't beaten far and has clearly not stopped progressing yet.
King George River (A Bailey)
No match for Short Squeeze's finishing kick at York last time out but had previously been very progressive on the all-weather and had finished second behind Intello at Newmarket in the Feilden Stakes. Could easily improve again but will probably need to.
Red Avenger (E Dunlop)
Has been slowly climbing the ladder this season and wasn't totally disgraced in pattern company at York on his latest start. His Haydock victory was solid enough and he backed this up with a couple of seconds at Newmarket and Goodwood. His best runs have come on quickish ground so should have conditions in his favour.
Dance And Dance (E Vaughan)
So often the bridesmaid and so rarely the bride, Dance And Dance is a standing dish in these big handicaps - usually standing with the other horses after the race. Hugely talented, it's just once again not quite gone his way this season. The ability is there and he's not badly handicapped, but surely it's asking too much for everything to fall into place in a race as hot as this.
Forgive (R Hannon)
Has been very consistent on the whole this season and gained a deserved success at Newmarket back in August. Caught a tartar in Lanansaak at Ascot last time out and while she will win more races, it may not be at this sort of level.
Code Of Honor (H Candy)
Has been a bit in-and-out this term but looked very impressive when winning at Sandown back in July. Hasn't quite gone on from this, which is a bit of a worry, and it looks like the handicapper has got him in his grip at the moment although he doesn't have as many miles on the clock as some and may yet find further improvement.
Top Notch Tonto (B Ellison)
Graphic (W Haggas)
A very interesting contender if his two-length victory at Haydock over subsequent Doncaster scorer Ascription can be taken literally. He's gone in again since at Kempton and is clearly in great form. Didn't set the world alight earlier on in his career but could just be getting the hang of things belatedly.
Boonga Roogeta (P Charalambous)
Rattled up a hat-trick under Rosie Jessop earlier on this season but now looks firmly in the handicapper's grip following a couple of lacklustre efforts. Very difficult to see him winning even back on his beloved Rowley Mile.
Seek Again (J Gosden)
Still lightly-raced so open to plenty more improvement. Finished fourth behind Graphic on his latest start having finished either first or second on his four starts previously. It takes a good horse to win a race like this having only had the five starts but impossible to rule out with any confidence, particularly with his trainer knowing just what it takes to win this race.
Jack's Revenge (G Baker)
One of the more plausible outsiders, especially with man-of-the-moment Oisin Murphy's 5lb claim to consider. Seems to lack a yard of tactical pace over shorter trips and also looks weighted to the hilt, but doesn't mind a bit of hurly-burly and nine furlongs could be his trip.
Tres Coronas (D Barron)
Not seen since solid third behind Danchai in John Smith's Cup but 3lb rise in weights for that effort looks a little harsh and would possibly prefer a softer surface too. Eyecatching jockey booking but asking a lot of him here.
Pacific Heights (B Ellison)
Tough and improving performer, who doesn't win by far enough to go rocketing up the weights despite continual improvement throughout the campaign. This is a big, big ask, but could be foolhardy to presume he can't cut it at this lofty level.
2nd: Bronze Angel
3rd: Chapter Seven
4th: Pacific Heights
5th: Top Notch Tonto
6th: Prince Of Johanne