Top trainer Willie Mullins sends six runners to the Newmarket feature he has won for the past three years. M C Muldoon, the mount of Ryan Moore, is the favourite
Willie Mullins has his sights firmly set on winning the Together For Racing International Cesarewitch for a remarkable fourth successive season.
The trainer’s dominance of the National Hunt scene has extended to one of the most valuable prizes in the Flat calendar and the Closutton maestro has the layers running scared once again.
Unlucky Royal Ascot loser M C Muldoon is the favourite and he heads the market at 5-1 after final declarations were made.
A maximum field of 34 runners look set to go to post for the £250,000 staying contest on the Rowley Mile – and six are trained by Mullins.
M C Muldoon, who came within a whisker of winning the Ascot Stakes earlier this year despite meeting trouble in running, will renew his partnership with top jockey Ryan Moore.
Mullins has booked title-chasing William Buick for 2020 JCB Triumph Hurdle winner Burning Victory, who has already won two Flat handicaps in France this year.
The stable’s three-length winner from 2020, Great White Shark, has a 10lb higher mark and a lengthy absence to overcome, but some will be tempted by his 20-1 odds.
Cesarewitch Handicap details
Date and time: Saturday, October 9, 3.35pm
Course: Newmarket (Rowley Mile)
Status: Heritage handicap
Distance: 2m 2f
Prize fund: £250,000
TV channel: ITV and RacingTV
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Latest Cesarewitch Handicap betting with Grosvenor Sport
5-1 M C Muldoon, 13-2 Buzz, 7-1 Calling The Wind, 10-1 Burning Victory, 12-1 Live Your Dream, 14-1 Elysian Flame, 16-1 Prince Alex, 18-1 Foveros, Snowalot, 20-1 Withhold, Micro Manage, Whiskey Sour, Great White Shark, Just Hubert, Scaramanga, Platform Nineteen, Goobinator, 25-1 bar (*odds subject to change)
Cesarewitch Handicap key contenders
M C Muldoon – Looks on a retrieval mission after unlucky defeat in Ascot Stakes earlier this summer, where he was denied room and forced to switch at a crucial stage. Only beaten a short-head by Reshoun (who reopposes) so would surely have won with a clear and a 4lb rise shouldn’t prevent another big show. Ryan Moore, on board at Ascot, is back in the saddle.
Buzz – Took hurdles form to new level when clear second best to Abacadabras in Grade 1 Betway Aintree Hurdle in April and looks likely that this has been the target for some time given trainer Nicky Henderson has won race twice. Potential for a mark of 96 to be on the lenient side given hurdles mark of 155 but stall six could be a stumbling block given record of low-drawn horses in recent years.
Burning Victory – Benefited from Goshen’s misfortune when landing the 2020 JCB Triumph Hurdle but is clearly a useful Flat performer as well, having won both starts on the level in France this year. Hard to gauge whether he is particularly well handicapped in this sphere but stays this sort of trip well, will relish any give and a big run looks on its way with Buick booked.
Calling The Wind – Had a few of Saturday’s rivals behind when running away with staying handicap at Goodwood and looks full value for 9lb higher mark after going close over an inadequate 1m4f at Newbury last time. Could still be more to come over staying trips.
Live Your Dream – Stable having a great time of things recently and this relatively unexposed four-year-old is officially 4lb well in after thrashing all bar Irish raider Turpike Trip in Cesarewitch Trial Handicap over course and distance last month. Booking of talented Adam Farragher a plus, as is high gate position, so one to take very seriously.
Elysian Flame – Posted a series of credible efforts in top staying handicaps this year and less than two lengths to find with Calling The Wind on Goodwood form but is up to a career-high mark and place probably the best he can hope for.
Great White Shark – Won this race with something to spare 12 months ago but nothing like the same preparation this time around and has a 10lb higher mark to overcome. Stable appear to have a couple of stronger chances.
Cesarewitch Handicap verdict
Recent history suggests you want to be drawn high which is a concern for backers of Buzz, who has landed in stall six. M C Muldoon looks an obvious contender but he is hardly bombproof, especially in a field this competitive, and a better value option is LIVE YOUR DREAM, who is looking to complete the big autumn double for Saeed bin Suroor after the yard’s Bedouin’s Story plundered the Cambridgeshire at big odds last month.
It was always going to be tough for the selection to concede 22lb to a well-treated rival in the Cesarewitch Trial but the Godolphin gelding was in a different county to the rest and he’s effectively 5lb lower today given his talented young rider’s claim. A Long Distance Cup (Group 2) entry suggests connections don’t expect him to be hanging around in handicaps for too long and everything looks in place for a big show.