Worcestershire trainer Ian Williams is set to have three runners in the Dubai £500,000 Cesarewitch at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Saturday (13th October) as he bids to go one better than he did in last year’s renewal.
Following yesterday’s confirmation stage 52 horses remain engaged in this two and a quarter mile heritage handicap, which has a maximum field size of 34.
The second leg of The Autumn Double, the Cesarewitch is being sponsored by Dubai for the first time this year and has had its prize money doubled, making it the joint most valuable flat handicap in Europe.
The Williams trio is led by Stars Over The Sea, runaway winner of the Pantile Stud Cesarewitch Trial over this course and distance on 22nd September, when he was allowed to build up an early 20-length lead and retained half of that advantage all the way to the winning line.
The other Williams contenders are Speedo Boy, fifth to fellow Cesarewitch candidate Just In Time in the Mallard Handicap at Doncaster last time out, and Blue Rambler, who finished sixth in this race in 2016. Williams has also entered Monjeni but he needs ten horses above him in the weights to be scratched if he is to gain a place in the final field.
Willie Mullins, Ireland’s Champion Jumps Trainer, dominates the list of entries with no less than seven representatives, led by the Cheltenham Festival-winning hurdler, Limini, successful in the valuable Petingo Handicap at Leopardstown last month, and Stratum, who suffered serious traffic problems when hot favourite for the Ebor Handicap at York.
Another leading fancy from across the Irish Sea is the Group 1 St Leger third, Southern France, from the Aidan O’Brien stable, while another top home-trained hope is Vis A Vis, unbeaten in two starts since moving from France to Somerset to join the yard of Neil Mulholland.
Ian Williams, trainer of Blue Rambler, Monjeni, Speedo Boy and Stars Over The Sea, said:
“The Dubai £500,000 Cesarewitch has always been a great race and, especially now with its wonderful prize money, it needs recognising and supporting.”
“It looks like Monjeni won’t get in, so I will have three runners on Saturday. It would be nice to go one better than I managed last year, when London Prize was second.”
“Stars Over The Sea has done well since he won the Trial but it is a bit disappointing that Pat Cosgrave, who won on him that day, has been claimed to ride in Australia. Hopefully I will be able to find someone of similar quality to take the reins.”
“Stars Over The Sea is an out-and-out galloper and it will take a good horse to take him on in the early stages – if something wants to go faster, good luck to them!”
“We will just have to see if he can successfully employ the same front-running tactics in this much bigger field.”
“He’s an older horse who had shown a lot of good form in the past and, fortunately, the move to my stable and change of environment seems to have rekindled his form. The application of a hood does seem to have helped him, too.”
“Speedo Boy was unlucky in the Mallard Handicap, where every avenue he went down turned out to be a cul-de-sac and he never got a true run at them, and I am convinced that we have not seen the best of him yet.”
“I’m not entirely sure that this step up in distance will be ideal for him, but for the prize money on offer it’s worth taking the chance. William Buick will ride.”
“Blue Rambler picked up an injury 18 months ago and has taken his two recent runs to get back in shape. But I was particularly pleased with how he ran at Goodwood last time, where he had a blow before running on again, and he is by no means a rank outsider.”
“I am very happy with the way he comes into this race – he finished sixth in it two years ago and is now nine pounds lower in the handicap, so that gives him a squeak. George Downing will ride him again as the horse is owned by his father, Paul.”
Following yesterday’s confirmation stage, the weights for the 52 horses remaining engaged in the Dubai £500,000 Cesarewitch (Heritage Handicap) run over two and a quarter miles of Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Saturday, 13th October, are as follows:
9-10 Scotland (GER);
9-9 Stars Over The Sea (USA);
9-8 Precious Ramotswe (GB), Whiskey Sour (IRE);
9-7 Stratum (GB), Top Tug (IRE), Limini (IRE);
9-5 Here And Now (GB), Fun Mac (GER);
9-4 Stargazer (IRE);
9-3 Speedo Boy (FR), Just In Time (GB);
9-2 Low Sun (GB), Southern France (IRE);
9-0 Cleonte (IRE), Cayirli (FR);
8-13 Uradel (GER);
8-12 Kloud Gate (FR) , Almoghared (IRE);
8-11 Mirsaale (GB), Coeur de Lion (GB), Uber Cool (IRE);
8-10 Royal Reserve (GB);
8-9 Vis A Vis (GB), Blue Rambler (GB);
8-8 Eye of The Storm (IRE), Stanley (GB), Law Girl (FR), Making Miracles (GB), Coeur Blimey (IRE);
8-7 Suegioo (FR), Theglasgowwarrior (GB) , Meri Devie (FR);
8-6 Bedrock (GB), Cliffs of Dover (GB);
8-5 Golden Spear (GB), Night of Glory (GB), Its’afreebee (IRE), Melinoe (GB);
8-3 Garbanzo (IRE);
8-2 Dominating (GER);
8-1 Tommy Docc (IRE);
8-0 Guard of Honour (IRE);
7-13 Monjeni (GB), Dell’ Arca (IRE), Newcross (IRE);
7-12 County Fair (GB);
7-11 Airton (GB), Al Kout (GB);
7-10 Lucky Deal (GB);
7-9 Dalshand (FR);
7-8 Cray (IRE).