27th September 2014

Cambridgeshire Day on the Rowley Mile

Saturday sees the return of Group 1 racing to the Rowley Mile and it’s time for the two-year-old fillies to take centre stage in the Connolly’s Red Mills’ Cheveley Park Stakes.

Twiggy Wiggy for trainer Richard Hannon looks to continue her dominance over the division. Following a scintillating display of speed to win the Weatherbys Super Sprint she went on to reverse her Royal Ascot form with Anthem Alexander to run out an impressive winner of the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York. That form as since been boost by the victory of Cursory Glance in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh making her a strong favourite to extend her winning run.

Her chief rival is once again likely to be Anthem Alexander however the field of 10 also contains some unexposed horses in the form of Terror, a run away 10 length winner of her debut at Warwick beating more experienced rivals. The John Gosden trained Tendu put a mediocre debut behind her to win by 5 lengths in a quick time on the all weather at Kempton.

Andre Fabre runners always needs to be treated with respect when brought over to these shores and he is represented by High Celebrity who he says was unsuited by the tactical running on her previous visit to the July Meeting. I wouldn't want to be taking on Tiggy Wiggy on what she has shown, however, if she was to have an off day High Celebrity could be the one to pick up the pieces.

The card also provides a chance for the two-year-old colt to lay their claims to next season’s Classics in the Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes. Nafaqa went into a lot of notebooks following a debut fourth at Royal Ascot. Since that run, he has gone on to record two wins,  most recently in a listed race at Doncaster beating subsequent Group 2 winner Toocoolforschool. The Andrew Balding trained Elm Park has a similar profile with his most recent win in a Listed race at Salisbury.

Northern trainer Kevin Ryan is having a brilliant season and he is represented by Salateen who was giving his nearest rival 1st 3lb when a winner of a nursery at Doncaster just over two weeks ago. As with any two-year-old race you cannot ignore a Richard Hannon trained horse, but Misterioso is very much an unknown. A reasonable performance on debut followed by an impressive win in a maiden at Sailsbury is all we have go off.

Elm Park is proven over a mile but Nafaqa’s pedigree suggests there shouldn’t be any problem, being by Derby winner Sir Percy and on the basis of that boosted form I would side with him for trainer Barry Hills.

The Betfred Cambridgeshire is one of the largest handicaps of the year with 35 runner over a straight 9 furlongs the winner will need luck as well as being ahead of the handicapper. The weights are headed by last year’s winners Educate, however he is rated 6lb higher and with no Johnny Murtagh in the plate, the chances of a repeat could be tough.

Queensberry Rules has contested many of the big handicaps this year and he finally managed to get his head in front at York last time out, a 5lb rise for that win won’t make life easy but his last run might just have been the confidence boost he needed. Of John Gosden’s two runners, stable jockey William Buick has opted for Cornrow, a fast finishing third behind two useful yard sticks at Ascot last time out.

The Hugo Palmer trainer Extremity has been extremely consistent only finishing out of the first three once in seven starts this season however that kind of consistency come at a price and he is now 20lb higher than at the start of the season.

The final one I would like to give a mention is Bronze Angel, a winner of this race two years ago. He hasn't been beaten far in some of the top handicaps this year and although now rated 4lb higher than when he won this in 2012, but with this year’s Ebor winning jockey Louis Steward taking off a valuable 5lb  and a bit of luck in running, he could go very close again.