Don’t stimp, back Renneti!
St Michel and Starchitect have clear claims in the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket on Saturday but Ian Ogg is prepared to chance two at longer prices.
It's been a funny old race in recent years the Betfred Cesarewitch.
It's thrown up a couple of popular winning favourites in Darley Sun and Detroit City and there could well be another in St Michel who is 15lbs well in following his fine run in the Doncaster Cup.
That suggests nothing can really be ruled out but the layers aren't taking many chances with only one horse trading at longer than 66s in the ante-post market whereas recent history suggests there will be a good few more on raceday itself with 12 sent off at 50s+ last season and seven the previous year.
The last three winners have all been light-weights but Aaim To Prosper did successfully carry 9-10 and Seismos and Ennistown are both of interest towards the top of the weights along with Oriental Fox who is racing off 3lbs lower than when beaten a short-head 12 months ago. Seismos proved that he retains his ability when a close-up seventh in the Northumberland Plate and has a clear shout on that form while Ennistown's connections and jockey booking stand out.
It was 14 years ago that Ryan Moore, then an apprentice, rode Miss Fara to win this race for Martin Pipe but the presence of Moore's name alongside the six-year-old, a relative newcomer to David Pipe's yard, is clearly notable.
Ennistown is not the only ex-John Ferguson runner to consider with Blue Rambler fairly prominent in the lists after an encouraging start for Ian Williams.
Pipe, meanwhile, also has one of the market leaders in Starchitect who still looks well handicapped despite a 7lb rise for his Salisbury win. The second won by seven lengths next time, the fourth – Oceane – has won twice while fifth home – Nigel – has won three.
It's hard to knock his claims but I'd rather play at a bigger price and I'm sweet on Renneti who finished fourth in last year's renewal and can be backed at 20/1.
He may be seven now but age has been no barrier to success in this contest and he appears to be finding his form at the right time. True, he finished a long way down the field behind Quick Jack but he was keeping on again in the closing stages having lost his position and it's not too hard to envisage him stepping up from that run having run so well in this contest last year.
He can drop himself out and probably got too far behind last year but he was only a length and a half down at the line and perhaps connections will be tempted to try some headgear in an attempt to get him to take a little more interest.
Either way, he's on a similar handicap mark and horses to have previously run in the race have a decent record with three of the last eight winners having a second crack at the contest which is encouraging as there are obviously plenty of runners with more potential for improvement in the line-up.
One of those is Mistiroc for whom this would be a significant step up in trip.
He has done most of his racing at around 12 furlongs and his one run over 14 furlongs proved a disappointment although that was the first race of his second season and just the sixth of his career. It was easy to see why connections stepped him up in trip as he had been staying on over a mile and a half at Newmarket on his final start of the previous season
He's performed at a fairly consistent level over the last 18 months or so for former trainer Jim Goldie and John Quinn (who he has been with this season) although you could argue that his win on his penultimate start was a career best and certainly runner-up Duretto is a decent yardstick, albeit one who doesn't win as often as he might.
Mistiroc needs to bounce back from a poor run at Chester which came just two weeks later; he's run back to back races in the past so I'm wary of using that as an excuse but it can only be positive that he's been freshened up since.
As for his stamina, that has to be taken on trust but he's related to strong stayers and jumpers in Mistanoora, Misternando and Rimsky while his sire, Rocamadour, can number the smart Jollyallan among his progeny.
On that basis, it's possible that this step back up in trip will bring about the improvement required if he's to win this race but at 33/1, that's a chance worth taking with a horse whose close-up ninth in last year's Cambridgeshire (second in his group) should be well suited by the demands of this test if the petrol lasts home.
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