Artist appeals at Newmarket
Ian Ogg previews Saturday's Betfred Cambridgeshire at Newmarket and believes the winner could come from Sacred Act's Sandown race.
The public have latched on to Sacred Act following his eyecatching win at Sandown where he scythed through the pack and there's no doubt that his close second to Group Two winner Lightning Spear on his penultimate run (in April 2015) is an equally eyecatching piece of form.
He has managed just five career starts over three seasons and that run at Sandown, where he faced 10 opponents, was the largest field that he had raced in. This will be run at a totally different tempo and be a completely different test.
Sacred Act may be up to the task but I have no interest in joining the bandwagon at 8/1.
Behind him at Sandown was American Artist and he does look worth getting onside at 33/1.
Roger Varian's four-year-old was having his first start since May 30 and first since being gelded and the run looked to be every inch a prep for this race. American Artist had won over that course and distance last season but his subsequent improvement has come over trips up to 10 furlongs and the mile looked to be on the short side for him.
He hasn't always looked the most straightforward but this race with a decent pace and a large field where he can get cover looks to be tailor made for him while the gelding operation may also help to iron out a few kinks. His quirks may also count in his favour as they may have helped him stay ahead of the handicapper as he has never won by very far.
True he hasn't won this season and he is 6lb higher than for his last success but his stable has been struggling for form for much of 2016 and it would be no surprise to see this son of Danehill Dancer post a career best.
Although I am quietly confident that the demands of this test will bring the best out of American Artist who faced only 11 runners when a beaten favourite in last season's Silver Cambridgeshire, it is guesswork but there are no such problems with Examiner who finished third in the main event.
That was just his fifth start for Stuart Williams who has produced the five-year-old to run career bests on his last two starts. Those runs, in April and June, suggest that his mark – 8lb higher than last year – may not be beyond him while the lack of a recent outing is of no concern given he came into last year's race having not been out since the end of July.
He has not been missed in the market but his price of 20/1 is perfectly fair and worth taking.
Preview posted at 0850 BST on 21/09/2016