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BIG RACE PREVIEW: The pick of this weekend’s racing is the Cesarewitch at Newmarket with a big field set to go to post.


In a field of 30+ runners it is sometimes helpful to look back and understand what kind of profile it may take to win a handicap as competitive as the Cesarewitch (3:35 Newmarket, Saturday). The ten year trends suggest that a horse of four years of age, with an official rating of 91 who enjoys a double figure stall berth and who carries a weight in and around the 8st 12lb mark is worthy of consideration. Of course it can never be that specific but with some sensitivity applied it can at least narrow down the search. Equally the focus can simply switch to checking out whatever Willie Mullins runs! Having won the race for the past three seasons it seems a logical starting point to assess some of this season’s entries from the master of Closutton.

Last year’s winner Great White Shark comes here off a 10lb higher mark and she hasn’t run on the flat since. She also comes here a fresh horse as she hasn’t run at all since the Cheltenham Festival in March and so the simple question begged is can she defy her new mark? Being a seven-year-old then ten pounds is quite a hike to overcome and it is likely that one or two others are potentially better handicapped. This leads to Burning Victory. Last year’s Triumph Hurdle winner has been back to her native France twice this season where she landed a couple of two mile handicaps in June and August respectively.

This suggests she is in good heart and it doesn’t allow the UK handicapper to gain a firm assessment on her. A mark of 99 doesn’t suggest she is thrown in here but equally she could be a 100+ performer given that the last time she ran on the flat for her previous connections, she did so in a Group 3 contest. Of the rest of the Mullins Team then MC Muldoon may top the list. After finishing a potentially unlucky second in the Ascot Stakes at the Royal Meeting in June he has since won a competitive novice hurdle at the Galway Festival in July and with Ryan Moore in the plate again, he ticks a number of boxes.

There are any number of possibilities in the race starting with Buzz who is a 155 rated hurdler running off a mark of 96 here. A literal interpretation between both codes of racing suggests that he could easily have a few pounds in hand of the handicapper. Calling The Wind is officially 3lb well in based on his current mark versus the mark he runs to here and Live Your Dreams similarly carries 4lb less than he would do if running from his current official rating. Both horses have a touch of class about them and they could be in the mix. And from a much lower mark of 86, the Donald McCain trained Goobinator could be of interest from a feather weight under the very capable Andrew Mullen. He is a decent hurdler who has won on the flat the last twice and a race of this nature could just suit him. He runs off the same mark that last year’s winner Great White Shark carried to victory and at a double figure price, he could well run into a place.

And so in a typical charge down the length of the Rowley Mile course it looks a typical renewal of the great race. The three against the field would be Burning Victory, MC Muldoon and Goobinator in the hope that one or two can be competitive and get involved at the business end of affairs.

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