DARKSIDEOFTARNSIDE can take the Cesarewitch
Morando did us a good turn last weekend, winning the Cumberland Lodge in some style at 5/2 (adv). Our other pick, Hermosa, ran poorly. She was disappointing, running well below her best.
On to this Saturday and I have two this weekend.
One of my favourite days of the year at Newmarket with opposite ends of the flat spectrum, the leading two year olds in the Dewhurst and a host of good supporting juvenile contests while the stayers face one of the season’s tests, the 2 mile 2 furlong Cesarewitch handicap.
The Dewhurst looks a non-betting event for me – Pintaubo will surely win if running up to the form he’s shown on his last few runs. He is exciting but I’m happy just to watch at those odds rather than either get behind him at 1/3 or to take a chance opposing him.
The Cesarewitch is a different matter. Favourite Buildmeupbuttercup is a worthy market leader and looks sure to run well for Willie Mullins. The price looks slightly cramped for a race of this nature though and I’m happy to look for one at a bigger price.
One I think will outrun his odds is Ian Williams’ DARKSIDEOFTARNSIDE (33/1 bet365) and he is the selection. He’s been a bit of a slow-burn since winning a 13 furlong handicap at Ayr on heavy ground last September. His handicap mark that day was 83 and he runs tomorrow off a pound less. He gave highly encouraging signs that he is back in that same form on his last two starts, winning at Ffos Las over 14 furlongs and then following that effort with a good second in a decent handicap over 2 miles in the soft at Ascot last week where he was only beaten a head. Provided that race hasn’t left a mark he could prove a big player for his shrewd trainer off a light weight.
Three year olds find this hard to win (Darley Sun is the only one to win in the last 20 years) and with both Ranch Hand and Land Of Oz carrying penalties they may find it tough. Outside the strong Irish challenge I think Timoshenko may have even more to offer and he’d be a popular winner for Sir Mark Prescott but I’m content to rely on Thedarksideoftarnside at the prices.
In the Autumn Stakes (Newmarket 2.55) I like AL SUHAIL (5/1 generally). He sweated up at Yarmouth but won well (started at 1/6 fav so was entitled to win easily). His effort next time was an excellent third to Positive and Kameko. Kameko finished a good runner-up here two weeks ago in the Royal Lodge and Positive lines up in tomorrow’s Dewhurst. A repeat of that form would see him go close but he could progress from that stepped up in trip (he is a son of Dubawi out of Shirocco Star so is entitled to appreciate a longer trip). He’s up against others who could progress significantly but I think he has the best form and the 5/1 looks very fair.