Rory Delargy: A couple of left-field plays for the Cambridgeshire

7 min


14:25 Cheveley Park Stakes

It is not easy finding solid angles into the juvenile races at Newmarket, and I’ve painted myself into a corner a bit given a like a couple who are up in class and lack experience, which is often a profitable laying angle, so it may be a case of chiselling out small profits or being very brave and running the risk of having our hands bitten off.

The way I see the Cheveley Park developing is with the high numbers dominating the rhythm of the race, and also whether the field comes towards the stands side or remains in the middle, bearing in mind that the stalls are in the centre, whereas they were stands side on Thursday and far side for Friday’s racing. My gut feel is that jockeys will attempt to get stands side again, where the rail seemed favoured on day one, but that remains to be seen. In any case, the favourite, and front-runner Pretty Pollyanna is drawn high, with Signora Cabello, who gave her a battle in the Prix Morny lowest of all.

I toyed with the idea of place laying John Quinn’s filly, but she is such a progressive and tough sort that I considered that too risky despite the draw being a potential negative. Instead, for a bigger liability, but a less risky position, I will oppose So Perfect, who has been running very well, but is flattered by the bare facts of finishing a close second in the Phoenix Stakes last time, running extremely well on the day given she took a grip early on, but the form of that contest is not exceptional, and her defeat of Skitter Scatter in the Grangecon Stud Stakes is also not as impressive as it appears, with the runner-up unsuited by the test of speed, and since a Group 1 winner over a mile, when she needed every yard.

This is So Perfect’s trip, but she’s at least half a stone off the standard required, and could be in trouble if she doesn’t settle here, sure to see plenty of daylight from stall two.

Recommended: Lay So Perfect for a place at 3.25 or shorter (liability 4.5 pts)

15:40 Bet365 Cambridgeshire Stakes

The feature race has lots of ways in which to be sliced and diced, with each-way bettors inundated with fancy offers, but there are two angles I want to play. My main fancy is Mordin, who should be a good price in the 4-place market and appeals as a good bet from his current lenient mark, his issue being that he stops in front, and has twice thrown away a winning opportunity by hanging fire when seeing daylight, but the flip side of that equation is that he’s not climbing the handicap as he should be and he is well weighted as a result.

He’s also drawn high, which I hope is the correct side of the track, and while he has a habit of finishing second when he should have won, I’d like to hope his tendency to idle won’t cost him four places in the finish.

The other angle is one that I’ve been thinking about since Donn spoke so sweetly about the chances of Kenya, who is drawn in the middle of the field.

My initial thought was that the middle is a poor spot unless the pace is right down the centre, and I wasn’t convinced that setting his own pace would be ideal given Kenya’s improved form over slightly shorter on his last two starts. Looking again, there must be a great chance that the pace in the middle will hold up, and there is no need for a drastic change of tactics as last year’s runner-up Sands Chorus, who made almost all the running 12 months ago, will surely perform pacemaking duties again.

Rather than steal Donn’s tip, however, I will gamble on the scenario being of mutual benefit to both horses, and reckon that Sands Chorus could represent a decent back-to-lay opportunity at huge odds (he traded north of 500 last year pre-race).

Recommended Bets for the Cambridgeshire

  • Back Mordin for a place @ 9.5 or better (2pts)
  • Back Sands Chorus to win @ 180 or better (1pt)
  • Lay Sands Chorus in running @ 26 to win 3pts (75pt liability)
  • Lay Sands Chorus in running @ 10 to win 3pts (27pts liability)