Back King In the Cambridgeshire
The Cambridgeshire Handicap is one of the major heritage handicaps of the season. A huge field of 34 runners go to post and race up the Rowley mile at Newmarket.
Surprisingly, the ground is lightning fast this year with Benbatl breaking the mile course record yesterday afternoon!
Astro King has been my Cambridgeshire horse since winning at Nottingham on his first run of the season. A third-place finish in the Thirsk Hunt Cup was a credit to the horse who had a poor trip going wide for most of that race due to his high draw. He ran a cracker in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot on fast ground where he won the stands side race but lost out to Real World who has been one of the best handicapped horses of the season. Real World has won twice including at Group 3 level and is currently rated 116. Astro King had no chance giving 7lbs to the then rated 94 Real World with Marco Ghiani claiming 3lbs.
Sir Michael Stoute upped him in trip to 1m 2.5f for the John Smith’s cup but he didn’t get home. Astro King was dropped to a mile at the York Ebor festival and ran a cracker from a high draw in stall 17. He jumped smartly and Ryan took rode him positively but ultimately the got done for toe at the end by the well in Cruyff Turn with Magical Morning runner up. Astro King was coming back at the leaders near the line and looks sure to relish the nine furlongs trip and the fast ground no issue. Last weekend, Cruyff Turn was unlucky in a Listed race at Ayr when not getting a clear passage which franks the York form big time. Astro King is drawn in stall 17 which is not ideal so hopefully Ryan can get out smart and across to race prominently in the stands side group. The ground is fast with Benbatl breaking the mile course record yesterday making it hard to come from off the pace.
Three-year-olds have a great record in this race winning four of the past ten renewals along with several placed runs. What 3yo’s lack in experience they gain with being ahead of the handicapper, remaining unexposed. Uncle Bryn has been deserted by Frankie Dettori & Fantastic Fox has had a busy season so we side with Anmaat. Owen Burrows has done a fantastic job with Hukum & Danyah this season for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum who sadly passed away last March aged 75. Anmaat runs in the name of his Shadwell Estate and looks a big improver with retained jockey Jim Crowley riding.
Anmaat has never finished outside the places on all his six career runs. The improvement has come as he has gone out in trip to ten furlongs. At Newbury in July he looked a winner until outstayed by The Queen’s runner Encourage on good to soft ground. That was a solid run giving the winner 5lbs and he duly progressed to win at Bath over 10 furlongs on good ground. Anmaat is improving fast with a very impressive win at Doncaster on good to firm ground 17 days ago. William Buick settled him in behind the leaders and once shown some daylight he quickened like “a goodun” beating the 98 rated favourite Faisal readily. The handicapper has given Anmaat a rating of 100 so he is 2lbs well in today carrying a 4lb penalty. His high draw in stall 22 looks a positive as both Majestic Dawn and Data Protection like to lead.
Of the once at bigger prices I can see Fastnet Crown, Chichester & You're Hired running well on thier favoured surface should thier draw not prove a disadvantage.
Ayr - 3:40
1 Point Each Way Astro King 7/1 generally, use bookies paying 7 places & BOG.
0.5 Point Each Way Anmaat 7/1 generally, use bookies paying 7 places & BOG.