Charlton to have last Laugh in Cambridgeshire!
The Cambridgeshire is one of the more difficult handicaps of the season for punters. Little wonder with all of 29 runners declared for this years renewal. At least there are fewer than the usual 30+ contenders in these most unusual times!
The Sir Michael Stoute & Ryan Moore trained Derevo has been heavily backed over the last 24 hours but it is Tempus who runs in the same colours of Khalid Abdulla that is the biggest threat to all in their quest to land this heritage handicap.
Tempus has lots in his favour and should be backed as he is 3lbs well in despite a 4lb penalty for winning easily at Ascot last time out. Any rain will not bother this horse who remains unexposed and is well drawn in stall 23 if the high numbers hold an advantage. Trainer Roger Charlton is a master big race planner and the Cambridgeshire looks to have been a well laid plan.
Tempus is running off a rating of 97 carrying 8-11 so is at the right side of the handicap. Jason Watson rides and knows the horse very well having ridden him on his last five runs. He won impressively at Ascot last time out powering through the line so I cannot see a fast run nine furlongs proving an issue.
Certain Lad has George Bass (7lb claimer) back onboard and is thriving this season. He was a very impressive winner at Group 3 recently at York and key to this horse has been going down in trip from 1m2f. The faster pace enabling him to settle better and finish off his race strongly. This big field handicap will suit ideally, and he is big player if the far side group hold sway.
Certain Lad's form is rock solid and ties in well with John Smith cup winner Sinjaari who is a much shorter price. They meet on similar terms, but I felt at York in the John Smiths cup when Certain Lad shot clear that he didn’t truly see out the trip losing the race to Sinjaari. Certain Lad improved for going down to 9 furlongs at York when ridden by Hollie Doyle.
The handicapper has upped him 4lbs to a career high of 112. However, George claims off 7lbs leaving Certain Lad carrying 9-5 with good ground or softer no problem. He’s had 35 days to recover from his mid summer efforts and after all he is a Group 3 winner in a handicap.
Newmarket - 3:35 (Cambridgeshire Handicap)
0.5 Point EACH WAY Tempus (6/1 Paddy Power paying 7 places)
0.5 Point EACH WAY Certain Lad (40/1 William Hill & Unibet, both paying 6 places)