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2019 Cambridgeshire Handicap tips - Two against the field for Saturday's handicap feature at Newmarket

The Cambridgeshire Handicap is the feature race of Saturday's card at Newmarket.

Brian Healy looks ahead to Saturday's feature Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket and picks out two against the field to take an interest in.

While Saturday’s renewal of the Group One Middle Park Stakes could well turn out to be one of the races of the season, the famous Cambridgeshire Handicap takes centre stage on the afternoon’s racecard at Newmarket, and the 1m 1f contest goes to post at 3.40pm as the fourth race of the afternoon on a cracking seven-race card.

Shown live as part of ITV Racing’s televised action on Saturday which also features racing from Haydock, the hugely competitive handicap contest along the Rowley Mile course has attracted a typically strong field of entries with a monster turnout of 33 runners likely to face the starter where each will be bidding to land the near-£100,000 first prize and join the likes of Wissahickon, Spark Plug, dual-winner Bronze Angel and Prince of Johanne as recent winners of this classy handicap contest.

Brian Healy takes a look through the entries for Saturday’s big feature race, and he picks out two runners against the field who could post big performances in the highlight.

In a typically competitive renewal of this handicap contest, JAZEEL (16/1, Bet365) could get back on the scoresheet if bouncing back from a lesser run in the Sky Bet Handicap at York last time out where he finished ninth behind Tamreer and beaten around six lengths.

The Roderic O’connor gelding had proven to be a largely consistent sort for Mick Channon last term, ending his time with that trainer with a course and distance win in the Silver Cambridgeshire where he beat Everything For You by a neck. 

Having subsequently moved to Jedd O’Keeffe, he finished runner-up on each of his first two starts for his new handler before getting back to winning ways at Sandown in July. He is excused his subsequent run at York behind Pivoine in the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup which may have come too soon for him under his penalty, and he almost bounced back to winning ways when finsihing a close second behind Fayez at Goodwood next time.

He ran better than the bare result latest, and the Knavesmire may not be a suitable track for him given he has disappointed there before; but the form of that run looks decent given a couple of winners have since come out of that contest, and he could benefit from his return to this track where he has won in the past.

The prospect of a strong pace will surely suit given that he stays further than this trip, and while he may not have too many more secrets from the handicapper he could still have a little scope for better off this handicap rating.

Effective in a range of underfoot conditions, he shouldn’t be inconvenienced by whatever the weather does to the ground and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him post a big effort where he’ll likely be finishing late off the strong pace under Jamie Spencer.

FIFTH POSITION (10/1, Coral) may lack the experience for such a big field contest, but Roger Varian’s lightly-raced Dark Angel gelding can give a good account of himself stepping into the handicap ranks for the first time having acquitted himself well in Listed and Group Three company in his short career to date.

Fourth on debut, he showed the benefit of that run to deny the smart Space Blues at Nottingham next time, scoring by a head and battling back gamely for the win having been headed.

Following on from that sucess he hasn’t been disgraced over longer trips when crossing the line in third behind Private Secretary in the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood; and when finishing fifth in the Gala Stakes behind Elarqam. That latter piece of form stacks up particuarly well with the winner going on to score in the Group Two York Stakes before running a blinder in the Juddmonte International back there next time; while the fourth has won a Group Three since.

Despite finishing fifth again when last seen out in the Thoroughbred Stakes back at Goodwood, he again wasn’t beaten too far and that form also looks all the more useful now given the winner - Duke Of Hazzard - won a Group Two next time, while the third horse home went on to bag a silver medal in the Group Three Supreme Stakes.

He’s been handed a mark of 100 for this handicap debut which doesn’t look harsh, and he could have significant improvement to come after just a handful of starts. He may not want the ground to deteriorate too badly, but he does act on good-to-soft ground and he stays further than this trip although he likes to race up with the pace so is likely to be prominent in running.

Still with the potential to do better, the lightly-raced three-year old could have a big say in this contest, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him getting competitive at the business end of the race.


JAZEEL (16/1, Bet365), FIFTH POSITION (10/1, Coral)

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2019 Cambridgeshire Handicap tips - Two against the field for Saturday's handicap feature at Newmarket

Brian Healy looks ahead to Saturday's feature Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket and picks out two against the field to take an interest in.

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