In a race over two miles two furlongs you would think the draw is not a factor. However, 13 of the last 17 winners of Saturday’s Cesarewitch at Newmarket came from stall 18 or lower. The inside stalls give horses an advantage and John Constable has fared well in that respect. The ante post favourite has seen money after being drawn in seven in a field of 34 runners. Leading contender Withhold is in stall 24 and has drifted on the basis of the low draw advantage.
John Constable was the early betting favourite on the strength of some decent form over jumps. The horse was impressive in winning the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock in May. The favourite is trained by Evan Williams who is better known for his jumpers but since the start of the century Martin Pipe, Nicky Henderson and Philip Hobbs have won two Cesarewitch’s each. Alan King trained the winner in 2015.
Dubawi Fifth has not been given a kind draw and at number 19 has to defy the historical trends. However, the horse has been allocated a relatively low weight and is a proven stayer. Dubawi Fifth could improve and ticks all the right boxes for the Cesarewitch. The horse looks a jumper in the making and Cheltenham could be the next port of call after this assignment at Flat HQ.
The each-way value could be Shrewd who gets in with 7lbs less than last year. There has been a dip in form but the horse could have fund a competitive level and weight. The draw and ground are positives and Shrewd could make the payout places. Some firms are settling each-way bets down to eighth place at one fifth the odds so Shrewd could be a winner with them although a top 4 place is a big ask.
The last major handicap on the Flat is becoming the first key contest of the new jumps season. Since 2000 eight predominantly National Hunt trainers have won the race which begins in one county and ends in another. It’s rare that a race over 18 furlongs does not take the runners past the winning post more than once. John Constable can good a good position and dictate the race and the horse is 8/1 in open betting.
Jumps form does not always translate to the Flat and vice versa. Even over this extended trip both speed and stamina are important and John Constable may struggle to keep up when there is not the equalising element of 8 jumping tests. However, the horse has been so impressive in two valuable handicap hurdles that the value of the form cannot be ignored. JOHN CONSTABLE is tipped to win the 2018 Cesarewitch.
The Dewhurst Stakes is the most prestigious race for horses aged two in Britain. It is a Group 1 contest run over seven furlongs and is part of the supporting card on Cesarewitch day. The winner often becomes the winter favourite for the 2,000 Guineas and last year’s winner Churchill won both races as did Frankel (2010) and Dawn Approach (2012). Expert Eye is the odds-on favourite and is the form and ratings pick even though Aidan O’Brien has four entries for a race he has won three times. EXPERT EYE will be a tough nut to crack even for the top trainer.