Bronze bids for third Cambs win
The view from connections ahead of the Betfred Cambridgeshire, featuring the winners of the race for the last four years.
Banksea (dark blue silks): Bids to give Luca Cumani a second success in the race.
The winners of the last four runnings of the Betfred Cambridgeshire make this year's renewal of this famous nine-furlong handicap at Newmarket on Saturday a special one.
Bronze Angel, successful in 2012 and 2014, the 2013 hero Educate and last season's victor Third Time Lucky are all set to play their part in a vintage edition of the first leg of the autumn double.
Seven horses have won this historic race twice but none has yet managed a third – a statistic Bronze Angel bids to defy.
Marcus Tregoning's stable stalwart is making his fifth successive appearance in the race and attempts to become the first seven-year-old to strike since Rambo's Hall won it for a second time in 1992.
To add to his task, Bronze Angel has not raced since April.
"It's a long time since he ran, but he's in good form," the Whitsbury handler told At The Races.
"The ideal thing would have been to have a race three weeks ago, but he wasn't ready, so he had as strong a piece of work as we could give him at Lingfield a couple of weeks ago and he worked well.
"He's going into the race off a much higher mark than when he first won it off 95, the second time he won he was off 99 and now he's off 107.
"We've got Louis Steward, who won on him the last time, claiming 3lb.
"It's the sort of race the young, improving horses seem to have a good chance in, so we'll just have to see, but we can't have him in better shape than we've got him."
Educate has twice been beaten in this ultra-competitive heat since coming out on top three years ago.
He is lumbered with the steadier of 9st 12lb, prompting trainer Ismail Mohammed to reduce the burden by 5lb with the services of apprentice George Buckell.
"He's in good order. We've run him four times this season and this will be the final race of the year for him," said Mohammed.
"He's looking good and he worked well last week. We'll have to see how he does. It's a tough race.
"We thought we'd claim off him to help him."
Last year's winner Third Time Lucky heads a three-pronged attack from the Richard Fahey stable with Dolphin Vista and Gabrial's Kaka providing support.
"Third Time Lucky seems in good form and the track and trip obviously suits him," said the Musley Bank handler.
"I think Dolphin Vista could run well and Gabrial's Kaka is what he is. Any rain they get would suit those two.
"I'm happy with them all, so we'll see what happens."
Stuart Williams reports Examiner to be in tip-top shape as he attempts to go two places better than last year when he ran a cracking race to take minor honours behind Third Time Lucky.
"I had planned to run Examiner in a big handicap at Goodwood in midsummer, but the ground there came up just too quick for him which was a real nuisance as he had a handy weight and it was a really nice prize," said the Newmarket trainer.
"Ever since then the plan has been to go straight for the Cambridgeshire. I am happy with his draw in stall 18 as it will allow him to tack over to whichever side has more pace, which is very important.
"He has got form on 'good to firm' ground and my personal opinion is that it never gets rattling fast at Newmarket at this time of year.
"Last year he only just made it to the Cambridgeshire after recovering from a bacterial infection. This time, by contrast, I have been very happy with his condition.
"It would be fantastic to win a race like this at our home track, the signature race of the meeting. It would be a real feather in the cap of a small yard with hard-working staff who do it all year round."
"This race has been the plan for some time. I hope he has stepped forward from his Sandown effort, where he was unlucky not to be placed, and a flat-out nine furlongs should be right up his street."
Roger Varian on American Artist
Chris Wall feels the virtually guaranteed ferocious pace will compensate First Sitting for dropping back in distance.
"He's very well and comes into this race on the back of a good second in a Listed race in France on his last start," said Wall.
"He won't mind the ground and they should go a good gallop which would suit him as he wants something to run at as he's coming back in trip a little bit, but we're hopeful of a good effort from him.
"He's probably got his weight. I don't think he's got much in hand, but we'll keep our fingers crossed and hope he goes well."
Wall is hoping stall 25 will prove to be an asset at the business end of proceedings.
He said: "It looks as though we've got some of the fancied ones in our general area and we want to be where the race ends up developing.
"Hopefully, that will be the case and then at least we've got a chance of running into the money."
Ed Vaughan was pleasantly surprised when Interconnection made the cut for the big event, having expected him to have to go for the Silver Cambridgeshire instead.
"I was thinking he'd be running in the Silver consolation race but he's got into the Cambridgeshire," said Vaughan.
"He's in good form. I was hoping they'd be a little bit more juice in the ground. He stays a mile and two but he's not a slouch either.
"He travels well in his races, so a mile and one might just suit him.
"Josephine (Gordon) takes off a valuable 3lb and she's winning a lot of big handicaps, so she's very confident and I think she'll suit the horse fine.
"You never know with the draw, but at least our mind is made up for us where we're going (from stall 34), so we have to stay on the stands side."
"He's been in great form all year and we think he'll stay the trip well, but it will be hugely competitive. He's drawn near the middle in 15. That will give Danny options. We're happy with that."
David O'Meara on Treasury Notes
Treasury Notes has had a tremendous season, winning four of his last six starts and seeing his rating elevate from 77 to 101.
His rise through the ranks has ensured he gets the chance to go for such a prestigious prize.
All of his wins have been over a mile, but David O'Meara believes the nine furlongs will not prove an inconvenience.
"He's been in great form all year and we think he'll stay the trip well, but it will be hugely competitive," said the Upper Helmsley trainer.
"He's drawn near the middle in 15. That will give Danny (Tudhope) options. We're happy with that."
Brian Ellison feels the cavalry charge of a race could play to Stipulate's strengths.
"He's very well and I think the race will suit him," said the North Yorkshire handler.
"He'll get further and he'll be doing all his best work at the finish."
Roger Varian has targeted American Artist at this race for a while, but admits it will be a tall order for the four-year-old.
"This race has been the plan for some time for American Artist, but the same can probably be said about most of the field," the Newmarket trainer told www.varianstable.com.
"I hope he has stepped forward from his Sandown effort, where he was unlucky not to be placed, and a flat-out nine furlongs should be right up his street.
"I feel he has every chance of being competitive."
It is 30 years since Luca Cumani sent out Dallas, his sole winner of this race. The Newmarket trainer bids to bridge the gap with Banksea, whose form bares close inspection.
"Banksea deserves to land a big race this term and has been in good form notching up two close seconds in big handicaps at York's Ebor Festival and Doncaster's St Leger meeting," he told www.lucacumani.com.