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2019 Cesarewitch Handicap tips - Two against the field for Saturday's Newmarket feature

The Cesarewitch Handicap goes to post on Saturday's top-class Newmarket racecard

Brian Healy gives his two against the field for Saturday's handicap feature race at Newmarket, the Cesarewitch Handicap where a big field of runners will go to post.

The famous Cesarewitch Handicap is one of the biggest races of the flat season, and the fantastic long-distance feature goes to post on Saturday as part of a cracking afternoon of horse racing action which also features the Group One Dewhurst Stakes on the agenda at Newmarket.

The stamina-sapping 2m 2f contest goes to post at 4.10pm as the fifth race on a classy seven-race card, and a maximum field of 34 runners will contest to land the first-prize pot which sits in excess of £215,000.

The action will unfold live as part of the ITV Racing coverage of the afternoon, and Brian Healy picks out his two against the field who could post big efforts in this year’s renewal.

Lightly-raced RANCH HAND (8/1, Coral) comes into this race on the back on the back of a solid win at Haydock in soft ground last month, beating Trueshan by two lengths, and Andrew Balding’s charge can find another jolt of improvement to post a big effort with the step up in trip unlikely to present a problem for the son of Dunaden who very much looked to be a stayer on the up with that performance.

A winner of his first two starts on the all-weather back in the spring, which included a twelve lengths’ demolition of Say The Word, he was subsequently tried in Listed company when taking in the Listed Lingfield Derby Trial where he crossed the line in fifth and beaten around eight lengths behind Anthony Van Dyck.

That was a decent effort in the circumstances where he was given too much to do; but he finished off the race well enough and hinted that he’s appreciate a stiffer test. 

Stepped up in distance for his next outing at this venue on the July Course where he contested the Bahrain Trophy, he was beaten around ten lengths into fifth behind Spanish Mission where he was hampered before running on late although he was never going to get seriously involved and the ground that day may have been too quick for him in any case.

However, he looked well at home on the conditions at Haydock, keeping on stoutly when faced with an even stiffer test and a 4lbs penalty for that success might not present enough of a burden to prevent him from another bold effort with this even more extreme yardage likely to suit.

Soft ground is clearly not an issue for the Balding representative, and he handled the deep conditions with aplomb last time out; he remains a low-mileage sort who could easily have more to offer, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him going well here.

This race can often throw up a big priced winner, and while the last three winners of the race have returned 10/1 or better there has also been much bigger-priced winners which include a pair of 66/1 victors as well as 25/1 and 50/1 winners in the past ten years overall.

THEMAXWECAN (25/1, Paddy Power) finished behind Ranch Hand in that Derby Trial at Lingfield, but Mark Johnston’s charge is an interesting contender from this mark having won both starts at two miles in recent times and may well have more still to offer.

Three-year olds have a terrible record in this race, and only one from that age group has won this race in the past 17 renewals - Darley Sun in 2009 - so history and trends are against both selections for this year’s renewal. However, the Johnston runner looks another progressive stayer from the yard, and the Middleham trainer knows how to win this race having done so in the past.

Relatively lightly-raced with ten runs in the book, he has shown improved form on quicker ground in two of his last three starts to win over two miles at both Ascot and Goodwood latest, with a defeat over shorter sandwiched between those victories.

His latest success came when beating Platitude by one length at the Sussex venue where he justified favouritism to score a shade readily, and he could have scope for better still despite a 4lbs penalty he has to carry here for that win.

He does have to prove he can be as effective on much slower underfoot conditions, with both those wins coming on quicker ground; but he is totally unexposed still over two miles and beyond, and with the potential for better still over staying trips then the Maxios colt could give a very good account of himself here for a yard which won this in 2013 with Scatter Dice.


RANCH HAND (8/1, Coral), THEMAXWECAN (25/1, Paddy Power)

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2019 Cesarewitch Handicap tips - Two against the field for Saturday's Newmarket feature

Brian Healy gives his two against the field for Saturday's handicap feature race at Newmarket, the Cesarewitch Handicap where a big field of runners will go to post.

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