David Ord has a horse-by-horse guide to Saturday's bet365 Cambridgeshire and takes Roger Varian to land the cavalry charge.
CIRCUS COUTURE: Contesting his first handicap since finishing third in Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot and despite top weight is racing from only a pound higher mark. Back to his best when chasing home Here Comes When in the Haydock mud last time and this trip and race should suit him ideally. One of the livelier outsiders.
PIVOINE: Back to winning ways in big York handicap last month when first-time blinkers had a positive effect. Enjoying a great season and can be competitive despite an eight pounds hike for that Knavesmire success.
SHARJA BRIDGE: Second over course and distance on reappearance and looked set to score at York last time only to lose his footing a furlong out. Strong traveller and is another who this test looks to be ideal for. The champion jockey booked.
MOUNTAIN HUNTER: Enjoyed a good season in Dubai and plenty of encouragement from his recent Doncaster return but a tendency to be slowly away is a potential negative in this huge field.
ALFARRIS: Strong traveller who posted another fine effort when chasing home Pivoine at York. Five pounds better off for a two-and-a-half length beating with that rival and in very good hands. No surprise to see him prominent in the betting.
SENIORITY: Won Unibet Golden Mile at Glorious Goodwood and ran with credit upped in class in the Sky Bet Strensall Stakes last time. This big field scenario will definitely suit but everything fell right at the Sussex track and is six pounds higher here.
AFAAK: Season started well with win at York and second place in Hunt Cup and ran well in defeat at Goodwood and York. Completely unsuited by small-field, tactical race at Doncaster last time but needs to be at his mid-summer peak to win this.
WISSAHICKON: We haven’t seen the best of him yet and did well to win under a huge weight at Chelmsford last time. With the champion trainer who has a fine record in this race and won four of his six career starts but completely unproven in his big-field scenario and this is by far his sternest test to date.
VERY TALENTED: Third in this race in 2016 and won at Chelmsford last week on his only subsequent start. Looks to have been primed for this and capable of going well if he’s at his peak on a second quick run.
TRICORN: Signs of a revival when second at Chelmsford last time but didn’t look entirely straightforward with the way he came through horses. Has the ability to go well but one or two questions to answer too.
ABE LINCOLN: In good form on the all-weather earlier in the year and second in the 2016 Britannia but no show in only two turf starts of 2017 and remains to be seen if he is still as effective on this surface.
KENYA: Kept lofty company earlier in campaign (used as pacemaker in French Derby) but impressive winner of Irish Cambridegshire when switched to handicaps. Subsequently second in Boomerang Staakes and clearly has to be respected but best form is with plenty of give and the current dry forecast isn’t in his favour.
KYNREN: Placed in big handicaps at York on his last two starts and shapes as though nine furlongs is going to be his optimum trip. Has to be shortlist material for all his mark has been creeping up without winning.
UAE PRINCE: Good second to Grey Kingdom on his reappearance here in May but not seen since and others have more convincing claims for his yard.
MISITORIC: Encouragement on his belated reappearance at Epsom but not enough to suggest he is ready to win a race of this nature, particularly as his best form is over further.
VIA VIA: Back from 11-week absence with solid run to be second on July Course but as capable as he is, others make more appeal.
WAARIF: Well on top at the line when beating Fire Brigade at Ayr last week and cant be discounted here with only a four-pound penalty.
EURO NIGHTMARE: Raced in pattern company since winning Listed race at Ayr in May and had run of the race when third in Winter Hill at Windsor last time. Looks vulnerable from this mark back in handicaps.
RAISING SANDS: Very effective in big field handicaps over the straight course at Ascot and shaped as though about to peak again there last time. Yet to prove he’s truly effective beyond a mile but capable of going well if he gets home although there are a couple of suitable big pots looming at the Berkshire track too.
ZWAAYAN: Ran into an improving three-year-old when second at Ascot last time and clearly in good nick at the moment but this is much tougher.
DANCETERIA: Completed four-timer recently and ran well when fifth at the Curragh last time, unsuited by how the race unfolded. Now ten pounds above his last winning mark
WHAT’S THE STORY: Running well in competitive handicaps this season and looked set to go close in first-time blinkers at Galway in July only to be short of room at a crucial stage. Needs his A game again but clearly tests like this suit.
VENTURA KNIGHT: Enjoyed a busy and successful season and excuses for last run but is now looking exposed and certainly has no secrets from the assessor.
VIA SERENDIPITY: Won Shergar Cup Mile last time but now on a career high mark. Unproven at the trip too.
MYTHICAL MADNESS: Had a busy season but back to form at Chelmsford last time. Has won from this mark before but not in a race as competitive as this.
THIRD TIME LUCKY: Won this in 2015 and fourth a year later so clearly the test suits. Took advantage of a plummeting mark when winning at York in July and things didn’t fall right at Goodwood subsequently. Possibilities.
KINGS GIFT: Very capable on his day but finished tamely behind Pivoine at York last time and made no impact in this race last year.
RESTORER: Won at Chester in May but not as good since. Now only two pounds above the last winning mark but you’d like to have seen more from his recent runs.
EXAMINER: Reportedly bled when pulled up at Newmarket in May but made pleasing return at Ascot earlier this month. Fresher than most here but clearly there are questions to answer
SABADOR: Couple of good runs at Ascot this season, including behind Ripp Orf last time, suggest he can pick up a valuable pot. Still progressing but his best form is over seven furlongs and the trip is a worry.
MASHAM STAR: Remarkable horse who has held his form throughout a very busy campaign. Will again run his race but hard to see him winning.
STYLEHUNTER: Unexposed three-year-old who was taken out at Newbury over the weekend because of the testing ground. Forecast in his favour here and huge threat to them all if he gets in.
GREENSIDE: Not seen since finishing ninth in the Balmoral in October (having been 17th in this on his previous start) and would be some training performance to him ready to win a Cambridgeshire first time up.
MORDIN: Second on four of his last five starts and didn’t look particularly hearty at the business end at Sandown last time. Talented but others look tougher.
SOUNDS CHORUS: Second in this last year but little form since and will do well to repeat his 2017 heroics.
BRAVERY: Things haven’t fallen right for him yet this season but that’s a recurring theme for him and he hasn’t won for 15 starts now. 13th last season hard to make a convincing case for while he’ll finish any closer this time.
VERDICT: A wide-open renewal and John Gosden has a strong hand. Stylehunter makes plenty of appealand Tricorn will go well too. Circus Couture is capable of a bold show despite a big weight and expect Third Time Lucky to be on the premises again. However the vote goes to SHARJAH BRIDGE. He has the assistance of Silvestre de Sousa in the saddle and has long appealed as the sort to pick up a prize such as this.