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Cambridgeshire Express not for stopping

25 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Cambridgeshire Express not for stopping

In the pick of Channel 4's Saturday racing, the hat-trick seeking Angel may have to settle for Bronze behind the consistent outsider

The Cambridgeshire is often a great betting race as the 9f contest sees a clash between those that have spent most of the season racing over a mile and horses that have been plying their trade at 10f.

The place to start has to be Bronze Angel, who will be bidding to become the first horse to win this race three times after victories in 2012 and 2014.

Following several poor runs, he bounced back to form last time out with a win in a decent Doncaster contest and now carries a 4lb penalty for that success.

That puts him on a mark of 108, 9lbs higher than his 2014 victory and 13lbs higher than when he won his first Cambridgeshire.

That suggests he will do well to win this, but there is no reason why he shouldn’t be able to at least place at 9/1.

With winners of this race going off at 40/1 and 25/1 in recent history, it is worth looking further down the odds list to find the best value play and one that really stands out is Express Himself at 22/1.

He has been ultra consistent throughout his career – finishing in the first four in 12 of his 14 races – and the only time he has failed to run well were on his racecourse debut and then when not enjoying the application of first-time cheek pieces.

He is versatile ground-wise – winning on soft and good-to-firm and, although only getting his head in front once in five starts this term, he has run some great races in defeat and generally been better than the result.

That win saw him beat the improving Birdman, who has since gone up 14lbs in the handicap.

His most recent effort was his first try beyond 8.5f when trying 10.5f at Doncaster and he did best of those that were held up off a slow pace in third while also meeting trouble in running.

There is rarely a huge draw advantage in this race, so assuming his high stall isn’t a disadvantage, Express Himself can cause a slight upset by taking this.

Besharah’s versatility makes her the one to beat in Cheveley Park

There are two juvenile Group 1s before the Cambridgeshire, the first of those being the Cheveley Park Stakes.

Besharah and Illuminate are the market leaders at 5/2 and 11/4 respectively.

The latter has only run on fast summer ground and, while it is drying here, there will be more juice in the ground than she has ever encountered before.

Besharah, on the other hand, has won on soft and good-to-firm and her ability to handle (and run extremely well on) the gluey surface at York last time is a major plus here.

She looks the most solid play at 5/2 and it is reassuring that the 7/2 third-favourite is a horse that Besharah beat by over two lengths last time out.

Shalaa looks special but too short to back in singles

The Middle Park Stakes followes the Cheveley Park and it will be an opportunity to see the potentially very smart Shalaa who is bidding for the second Group 1 of his career.

It might not be much of an opportunity to back him, though, as he is just 4/9 to add to his Prix Morny win.

He doesn’t look worth opposing, so the best move could be to find the horse that will follow him home in order to back the forecast.

Of the Charlie Appleby pair, it is perhaps surprising that Venturous is shorter in the betting at 12/1 than Rouleau at 16/1.

The latter is more exposed but has shown a much higher level of form so far, so with the well-fancied Buratino looking quite ground dependent, it could be between Rouleau and Ajaya for the runners-up berth.

Ajaya’s form looks really solid with Ribchester, beaten 1.25 lengths last time out by Ajaya in a Group 2, going on to win a Group 2 of his own on his next start.

It is therefore Ajaya who looks most likely to finish second to Shalaa.

Second place special: Betway will refund losing bets on selected races up to £25 if your horse finishes second and is beaten by less than a length. Terms and conditions apply.

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