The Cesarewitch at Newmarket is one of the season’s toughest and most sought-after Flat handicaps. It scales two counties, finishes up the Rowley Mile and boasts a winning pot of more than £300k.
The declarations are in for this year’s renewal and here are three contenders against the field.
Vis A Vis, each-way @ 11/1
Silvestre De Sousa is chasing a Cesarewitch hat-trick, the Brazilian having steered Sweet Selection and Withhold to glory in the last two renewals.
He has duly picked up the ride of French import Vis A Vis, who will be attempting to make it three wins in three starts since joining trainer Neil Mulholland.
The Dansili colt got off the mark over 1m6f at Sandown in June, typically arriving late on the scene under Shane Kelly to score a wafer-thin success. Interestingly, the tactics were altered on the all-weather at Kempton in August when Vis A Vis made every yard for a decisive win.
The signs are that he’ll get this marathon trip and, having shown tactical versatility, he has another string to his bow now.
Nudged up 8lb for that win, a mark of 90 is unlikely to come close to his ceiling and there should be more to come.
Stars Over The Sea, each-way @ 18/1
Ian Williams has been best known for his jumpers but the trainer is starting to find a happy habit of challenging for big prizes on the level and his runner Stars Over The Sea is worth some considering here.
A gelding by Sea The Stars, he was formerly trained in Ireland by Henry De Bromhead and showed some promise over extreme tests of stamina before leaving that yard.
He looked in need of the run after 273 days off when making his debut for the Williams team at Newbury in July but has run three fine race since. Most recently, he warmed up by winning a C&D trial for the Cesarewitch by a yawning 10 lengths last month.
He was allowed his own way in front, which is no sure thing now, but a ratings rise of just 4lb might perhaps underestimate how well he did that and Jim Crowley should get a good spin around on Saturday.
Top Tug, each-way @ 40/1
Alan King won this with Grumeti in 2015 and the Barbury Castle handler might get another run for his money with Top Tug now.
He’s only won two of 24 starts on the Flat, but has placed in another nine of those and is very consistent. This year he has run well in three of his four starts on the level, bar being outclassed in a Glorious Goodwood Group 3 in August.
Last month’s close third in a Listed race at Chester over 1m6½f banished the memory of that run and, having won two-milers in his hurdling career, he should get this trip.
He’s got Nicola Currie taking 3lbs off his back and putting him on a nice racing weight and could outrun a huge price.
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