It may not look it outside but autumn is certainly here and that can only mean one thing – a tilt at the Bet365 Cambridgeshire.
The nine-furlong handicap has a history of throwing up big-priced winners with the likes of Spanish Don (100-1), Dolphin Vista (50-1), Prince Of Johanne (40-1), I Cried For You (33-1) and Tazeez (25-1) all rewarding those who like the small investment, big return approach to betting in the last 17 years.
And a few outsiders are worthy of a second look again on Saturday, too.
Quite why David Barron’s big-race favourite Kynren is the 10-1 market leader ahead of 34 others is beyond me.
This is a horse who has not won in five starts this season and has gone up in the handicap by 7lb for running creditably. The four-year-old is by Clodovil, too, a sire famed for producing progeny that appreciate rain-softened ground and who has displayed a preference for turf with a bit of give in it.
The going on the Rowley Mile is good, good to firm in places, but with sun forecast to shine for the next few days that description can go only one way.
With that in mind I can see Alfarris usurping favouritism, with John Gosden’s three-year-old Wissahickon also being well backed before the off.
Although I can see Godolphin's Very Talented and Aidan O'Brien's Kenya running well, ultimately you cannot back them all and here are my three against the field.
Stylehunter clearly goes well in big fields, having finished a fine sixth in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot.
It is a race which has proved to be strong handicap form, with the winner Ostilio going on to win a big handicap at Doncaster last time. Runner-up Curiosity was second again at Newmarket in July, while horses further down the field such as Vale Of Kent and First Contact have also gone on to win.
It certainly was not a fast-run Britannia, and Stylehunter’s sheer talent helped him out when he was an easy winner of a small-field, slowly-run handicap at Goodwood last time.
A son of miler and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Raven’s Pass, the nine furlongs run at a good pace should suit him perfectly and he looks sure to have improved.
I owe Jamie Osborne a drink becuase I backed his Field Of Dream at 28-1 to win the Royal Hunt Cup some years ago and I can see him triggering a similar outcome on the Rowley Mile with this one.
Raising Sand’s form last season behind subsequent Queen Anne Stakes one-two Accidental Agent and Lord Glitters is better than it looks on paper.
Dougie Costello looked to do too much early on with Jamie Osborne’s charge at Ascot last October in a race where it paid very much to be off the pace.
Raising Sand cut out much of the running and with two furlongs to go was the clear leader only to be overwhelmed in the final 150 yards. In fact, he was the only horse in the first five to be up with the pace the whole way.
His run when seventh in the Royal Hunt Cup also looks much better than it appears. He missed the break under Jamie Spencer, was on the wrong side on the far part of the track and finished second in his group.
Although by sprinter Oasis Dream, all of his five wins have come at a mile. He is back to a mark of 98, which is the same as when chasing home Accidental Agent and Lord Glitters, while Nicola Currie’s 3lb claim will help markedly in such a race.
Simon Crisford’s stable is firing on all cylinders at the moment and he has sent out four winners from his last 10 runners (before racing on Friday).
All in, his yard is purring at just over 35% in the last 14 days so all of his horses are worth a second look. So, too, is Mordin, despite his big price of 40-1.
This is a horse by Invincible Spirit, the sire of top miler Kingman, out of a mare by dual Derby winner Galileo. It is no surprise, therefore, that ten furlongs is probably just out of his comfort zone.
He travels like a dream in his races, battles in the closing stages with conviction just short of total and has then come off second best over ten furlongs three times by less than a length. Last time out he went down by a head to Majboor, a horse rated 87 who was notching his fourth win in five starts.
It is a great decision from Crisford then to reach for the first-time cheekpieces. According to Betting Lab expert Tony Calvin, the Newmarket trainer is 2-9 using this specific first-time headgear in the past two years but statistics, as ever, do not always tell the whole story without delving a little deeper.
Crisford's form figures with first-time cheekpieces is: 301432431.
Mordin clearly has class. In Apri,l he beat Ripp Orf off level weights with ease and that horse went on to land the Victoria Cup a month later and won again in Berkshire this month by beating 19 others off a handicap mark of 93.
Mordin has returned a beaten favourite four times in his short career at 40-1 he is surely worth one last hurrah.