Saturday's Big Handicap Preview - The Cesarewitch

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Aurora Gray – 25-1 with Betfred and bet365 ( e.w. 5 places )
John Constable – 8-1 Skybet – Coral – William Hill – Ladbrokes

Saturday’s big staying handicap at Newmarket – the Betfred Cesarewitch looks just as competitive as ever with a maximum field of 34 virtually guaranteed following Monday’s declaration stage for which 53 horses stood their ground for the stamina-sapping 2m 2f contest headed by top weight Fun Mac on 9st 10lb.

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The Evan Williams-trained John Constable heads the ante-post market at a general 8-1 on the back of a successful hurdling campaign. The son of Montjeu fell at last when disputing the lead in a valuable handicap at Aintree’s Grand National meeting but soon put that unfortunate experience behind him by recording victories at Haydock in May and Market Rasen in July. The ex Aidan O’Brien inmate was last seen on the Flat when unplaced at the Curragh back in August 2014 and could easily be thrown-in off a mark of 88 if able to transfer his form over the smaller obstacles to a race where hurdlers have an excellent recent record.



While a single figure price may look on the skinny side with 33 rivals to beat the mount of Jim Crowley could easily shorten up even further as the race approaches and is the most likely winner with just 8st 9lb on his back. At a much bigger price it could be worth having a saver on the Hughie Morrison-trained Aurora Gray at the 25-1 available with bet365 and Betfred ( 5 places ).

The four-year-old daughter of Rip Van Winkle has improved for the step-up in trip recording wins on the all-weather at Lingfield ( twice ) and Kempton before running with credit on turf, the most noteworthy being a length and a quarter second to Cool Sky over two mile four and a half furlongs at Goodwood.

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Headed just inside the final furlong there the grey may just have found the marathon trip too far and should appreciate the 2m 2f distance of Saturday’s race. Second once more on her most recent start, a below-par effort which can be put down to the soft ground conditions, the filly is a model of consistency and has every chance of being concerned at the business end of the race.

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