Next Race Newspaper
Free Bets
My Account

Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Cambridgeshire lowdown: pointers and trainer views for the mammoth betting heat

Godolphin pair Carry On Deryck (7) and Very Talented finish behind Spark Plug in the 2016 Cambridgeshire. Will the organisation break their duck in the race on Saturday?
1 of 1

3.40 Newmarket
bet365 Cambridgeshire Handicap | 1m1f | 3yo+ | ITV4/RUK

It has already proved a milestone year for Godolphin, with Masar giving the organisation their first Epsom Derby, and the blue silks have been carried to victory in many other high-profile contests this season. 

The Cambridgeshire has also proved elusive down the years with Carry On Deryck's 2016 second the nearest Godolphin have come to winning it.

He finished one place ahead of stablemate Very Talented, whose only run since that third on the Rowley Mile came at Chelmsford this month, when he was impressive in landing a handicap.

Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor, who also runs Mountain Hunter in the valuable handicap, said: "Very Talented won nicely at Chelmsford after being off the course for a long time and came out of the race well. He was third in this race two years ago and has matured into a big, strong horse.

"I'm looking for another good run over a course and distance that suits him well. Nine furlongs also looks a good trip for Mountain Hunter, who showed a high level of form in Dubai at the start of the year. He was unlucky at Doncaster and I’m hoping for a better result this time."

Haggas seeks Cambridgeshire first with progressive duo

A Cambridgeshire victory is also absent from the CV of William Haggas, but the Newmarket trainer has two strong representatives in the 35-runner affair.

Alfarris: Impressive winner at Glorious Goodwood earlier this season

Alfarris hasn't finished outside the top two in four runs this season, enjoying wins at Goodwood and Chelmsford, while Glorious Goodwood winner Seniority returns to handicap company after finishing midfield in a Group 3.

Haggas said: "They're both drawn high so that makes our minds up as to where to go. I have a little concern about Seniority on a straight track and I think it's a lovely race for Alfarris. They should both run good races."

Dettori aims to break 24-year Cambridgeshire drought

You have to go back to 1994 to find the last time Frankie Dettori won the Cambridgeshire, when he partnered subsequent six-time Group 1 winner Halling to victory.

This year he's set to ride Wissahickon – one of three runners for John Gosden – who looked a smart winner at Chelmsford last month.

Gosden said of his trio, which also includes Tricorn and Stylehunter: "We've two drawn together [Stylehunter and Tricorn] on the stands' side and one up the middle, so if the far side is favoured we could be in trouble.

"This has been the plan for Tricorn all along. He ran a nice prep on the all-weather and has winning form at the track.

"Wissahickon is a progressive type who we've always liked while Stylehunter is a bit of a bonus runner as we thought he may have to run in the Silver race instead of this, but he snuck in at the bottom."

What they say

Andrew Balding, trainer of Pivoine and Zwayyan
Pivoine won well at York but he's up 8lb for that so it makes life a bit tougher for him. I think he's a high-class horse but he'd need to be if he's going to win a Cambridgeshire off that mark. I'd hope he'll run well. Zwayyan has been pretty consistent this year, although not quite at the same level. He's a pretty handy horse and he should have a chance.

Roger Varian, trainer of Sharja Bridge and UAE Prince
Sharja Bridge and UAE Prince have trained nicely into this race and both promise to be well suited by the prospect of an end-to-end gallop. Sharja Bridge ran well over course and distance in the spring although he’s got his fair share of weight now. UAE Prince has been off for some time and we’re experimenting bringing him back in trip but he’s a strong traveller who will enjoy the ground.

Charlie Hills, trainer of Afaak
He’s got some strong big-field handicap performances in the bag, having finished second in the Silver Cambridgeshire and Royal Hunt Cup, while he also won the Hambleton at York’s Dante meeting. He’s high enough in the weights now but I think he’s up to it. This is always extremely competitive but he’s in good shape and the 1m1f trip should be perfect. 

Jeremy Noseda, trainer of Abe Lincoln
He's in good form at home and we're happy with him. Hopefully he'll run well.

Kenya: Hoping to land the Cambridgeshire after winning the Irish edition at the start of the month

Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Kenya
It's going to be something new for us having a runner in the Cambridgeshire but Kenya came out of his Leopardstown run in good form and we're happy with him.

David Barron, trainer of Kynren
He seems in very good form at home and I'm happy with him. This has been the plan with him since we ran at York. He goes on the ground but we would've preferred a little bit of rain. I'm not too sure about the draw but I'm hoping he'll run well.

James Tate, trainer of Via Via
He's in good form and ran really well at Newmarket last time. He loves the Rowley Mile and he likes straight tracks. I hope the ground doesn't go too quick but whatever happens we'll give it a go because he loves Newmarket. I'm optimistic of a good run.

David Menuisier, trainer of Danceteria
I thought he was unlucky last time out when he ran at the Curragh. He started slowly and he struggled to move into the right position. He seems in great form now and I think we can try again with him.

Charlie Johnston, assistant to Mark, trainer of Ventura Knight and Masham Star
Ventura Knight has been off for a little while. He had been getting worse in the stalls and that culminated with him blowing the start at Goodwood. You can put a line through that. He's on a career-high mark but a fast-run mile and a furlong on decent ground is ideal and as long as his stalls work goes to plan he's got a good each-way chance. Masham Star is just Mr Dependable. He's had another solid year and had a couple of wins on the way and won at a number of the big festivals. He's due another big one, conditions are fine for him and he's got an each-way squeak as well.

Michael Dods, trainer of Kings Gift
He's in good form but we probably could've done with a little bit more juice in the ground. He just likes good, good to soft ground. He's well but it's such a competitive race. Hopefully he puts a good performance up.

Simon Crisford, trainer of Mordin
Every time he's run he's put in a career-best effort. He's been creeping up the handicap without winning but he's always acquitted himself well. I think a hard-run nine furlongs on the Rowley course could well play to his strengths.

James Given, trainer of Sands Chorus
He was second in the race last year and has a similar draw this time. He's lost his way a bit, then had a good break. He ran at Sandown a fortnight ago and he needed it a little bit. We're back here, he's moving well and we're hopeful of a good run.

Read exclusive daily previews from 6pm at


I think he's a high-class horse but he'd need to be if he's going to win a Cambridgeshire off that mark
E.W. Terms
Sky bet