Ebor Principles set to clash again in Newmarket's CesarewitchPublished August 30, 2017
Saturday’s Betfred Ebor, Europe’s richest handicap, produced a thrilling finish in which the Iain Jardine-trained Nakeeta, short head runner-up in last year’s Betway Chester Cup, just got the better of a ding-dong battle with 7-1 market leader Flymetothestars for the first prize of £177,412.
A head separated the two principles crossing the line giving 5lb claimer Callum Rodriguez the biggest success of his career so far, denying Luke Morris on the second a potential big race double following Marsha’s narrow victory over US challenger Lady Aurelia in Friday’s Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.
A well beaten sixteenth in the Betfred Cesarewitch last October, Nakeeta is a best price 20-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook to gain a second major handicap of the year if taking his chance in Newmarket’s marathon once again this season and the six-year-old son of Sixties Icon could face several of those behind on the Knavesmire, including ante-post market leader Flymetothestars ( 14-1 with the sponsor ) and Magic Circle who earned his connections £6,640 by finishing fifth in the Ebor, three days after winning an extended two mile handicap on the meeting’s opening day.
Available at a standout 16-1 with Boylesports for the second leg of the autumn double on Saturday 14th October, Ralph Beckett’s gelding probably found the 1m 6f trip of the Ebor a little on the sharp side as Harry Bentley’s mount was never able to match strides with several speedier types but the 2m 2f of the Cesarewitch could prove ideal for the son of Makfi who looked slightly unlucky when finishing well to be beaten just over two lengths in the Chester Cup back in May.
With an official rating of 101 Magic Circle should have no trouble making the cut for the Cesarewitch for which 100 horses were entered last week and is likely to take plenty of beating, a remark which also applies to Flymetothestars, although Sir Mark Prescott’s four-year-old is more ground dependant and may not take his chance should the going prove too lively at headquarters.