Examiner can pass Cambs test

Ian Ogg analyses the last 10 renewals of Saturday's Betfred Cambridgeshire at Newmarket and picks out the key statistics.

Examiner (far side) and Knight Owl can go well in the Cambridgeshire

Winners of the Betfred Cambridgeshire have fallen into two distinct categories with the unexposed handicappers edging out their more experienced counterparts six – four over the last 10 seasons.

The absence of Secret Act has robbed the former group of their flag bearer but they are still but there are a couple of viable substitutes lurking towards the foot of the weights in the form of Banksea and Very Talented.

Richard Fahey won this with a three-year-old last year in Third Time Lucky who bids to become the first horse since Prince de Galles (1969/70) to win successive renewals. Third Time Lucky is only 5lbs higher – a rise which is negated by the claim of Adam McNamara – and returned to form at York last time when one place behind Spark Plug.

Bronze Angel is one of three subsequent dual winners – successful in 2012 and 2014 – but there has been only one winner aged older than five in the last decade while he is also rated 107 and no winner has had a higher perch than 104.

A line can be put through a handful of runners on the grounds of rating and age while a good run on the previous start has been a pre-requisite with nine runners obtaining a top five finish which accounts for a few more contenders.

Examiner and Bravo Zolo have both been off the track for longer than the majority of winners but the former finished third last year on the back of a slightly shorter absence so that can hardly be viewed as negative while the latter merits obvious respect having finished second in the Lincoln when last seen.

Knight Owl beat Examiner over course and distance in April and only missed out by a short-head behind Treasury Notes at Ripon last time. The swing in the weights and his course record are both in his favour as he bids to reverse the form.

Fahey also runs three-year-old Dolphin Vista who ran well at Newmarket in April and produced a career best to win at Beverley last time. He is a big price but proven at the trip unlike Banksea and Very Talented who have both shown a tendency to race keenly in the past.

Ode To Evening was behind Dolphin Vista at Beverley but shaped more encouragingly having struggled since two big runs in July, including when finishing in front of Banksea at Newmarket.

Erik The Red has been knocking on the door and could do so again as long as he doesn't get too far back but nine winners in this period had won a race earlier in the season which counts against both him and American Artist (and one or two more besides).

The suggestion then is to side with Examiner who has nothing to prove in the face of this test while it wouldn't surprise to see big runs from Knight Owl and Dolphin Vista.

  • Winners have been aged three (4), four (2), five (3) and six.
  • Winners have carried between 8-4 and 9-9 with six between 8-7 and 8-12.
  • Winners have been rated between 87 and 104 with eight between 95 and 104.
  • Winners have been priced between 5/1 and 40/1 with eight returned at 16/1 or shorter and two sent off favourite.
  • Nine winners finished in the first five on their preceding start; two finished first and carried penalties.
  • Nine winners had run since the beginning of August.
  • Nine winners had won a race during the current season.
  • Nine winners had won or been placed in a Class 2 handicap or better, the exception was unraced at that level.
  • Six winners had either won or been placed on either the July Course or the Rowley Mile Course.
  • Six winners had had 14 or fewer career starts whilst four had raced between 21 and 26 times.
  • Seven winners have been drawn 11 or higher.

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