• Racing/
  • Hughes Chasing Ces First

Betfred Cesarewitch (Heritage Handicap) 2m 2f

  • (3yo+, 2m 2f, Class 2, 34 runners)
  • Winner £99,600 2nd £29,824 3rd £14,912 4th £7,456 5th £3,728 6th £1,872
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 51.51s
  • Off time: 15:38:48
Full result
Result 15:35 Newmarket
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 1 Aaim To Prosper 66/1
2nd 21 Countrywide Flame ½ 7/1f
3rd 5 Tominator 9/1
4th 2 Motivado 6 14/1
  • Last Updated: October 12 2012, 17:55 BST

Champion jockey-elect Richard Hughes is hoping lightning can strike twice in the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket on Saturday.

Countrywide Flame: Cesarewitch favourite
Countrywide Flame: Cesarewitch favourite

Just like Frankie Dettori 12 months ago, Hughes, a veteran of the weighing room, is without a win in the famous handicap.

But in George Baker's Martyr, whom he used to ride when he was trained as a younger horse by Richard Hannon, Hughes believes he has the perfect candidate for the marathon event.

"I've never won it, but Frankie won it last year for the first time so I'll keep trying," said Hughes.

"It's a great race. Over two and a quarter miles you'd think the draw wouldn't matter but actually it does.

"With all the runners every jockey wants to keep a decent position so they go very hard down the rail. If you are stuck on the outside it feels like you are playing catch up.

"We're drawn 15, right in the middle. He has plenty of pace, travels well but I'd bit a little concerned about the ground if it got too soft.

"I got off him the last day and said I'd ride. He arrived on the bit a furlong out at Newmarket and just blew up, so I'd be very confident."

Dual purpose horses have a good record in this and John Quinn's Triumph Hurdle winner Countrywide Flame has headed the market all week.

"We were expecting him to run well at Chester. If he hadn't run well we wouldn't be heading to Newmarket, but we were expecting a good run because he had been training well going into the race," said Malton-based Quinn.

"He is going up in trip but I think he will get it all right and the ground shouldn't be a bother to him."

Some may believe master trainer Dermot Weld is on the verge of pulling off a long-held plan with his runner Olympiad, but Barry Simpson, racing manager to owner Sir Robert Ogden has stressed that is not the case.

Olympiad had been a low-key contender until notching a very easy win at York's Ebor meeting.

"He's been a big, backward horse, that's why he's only had five runs," said Simpson.

"People might look at him and think it's all been a big plot, but I can assure you it hasn't.

"We only started to think of running him in this after he won at York."

One who has had the race as his aim for a while is David Simcock's Montaser, but he was not even certain to run initially as he was first reserve for the race and needed a horse to drop out.

Owner Dr Marwan Koukash, who was also responsible for last year's victor Never Can Tell, had another two horses higher up the handicap and one of those, Address Unknown, was declared a non-runner, allowing Montaser a space in the field.

"We've always had the impression that he'll stay very well. When he won at Haydock over a mile and a half and he just got up, we discussed it with Dr Koukash and decided that it (the Cesarewitch) would be the long-term plan," Simcock told At The Races.

"He's a big, robust horse from a staying family and he gives you every impression that he'll stay."

An Irish raider fresher than most is Maurice Phelan's Alhellal, off the track since winning the Ulster Derby at Down Royal in June.

"It was a nice race he won in Ulster and we decided after that to come straight here and have him nice and fresh," said Phelan.

"Time will tell whether that was the right thing to do or not."

Martin Pipe liked nothing better than a crack at the Cesarewitch and won it a couple of times with Heros Fatal and Miss Fara.

His son David has also had several runners in the race in the last few years and will saddle four in this season's renewal.

Ashbrittle, Beyond, Martial Law and Decoy will all represent the Pond House team.

Pipe said: "I think they all go there with outside chances."

Another National Hunt trainer with a runner is Jonjo O'Neill, although he is there rather as an afterthought.

Tominator is a standing dish in the staying handicaps on the level but has joined O'Neill for a hurdling campaign.

However, as he held an entry in this, O'Neill has decided to take up the option.

"He's settled in really well and he's jumping well. He's in good form that way," said O'Neill.

"He likes the jumping at the moment. He was in the Cesarewitch, so we might as well take our chance and see how we get on."

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