Our betting expert has a confident selection for the Cesarewitch plus two other selections.
I have had a good summer with this horse and had a very decent bet when he won a fairly uncompetitive event at this track, which covered my losses as I went in too big in the Queen Mother race also run here.
He didn’t stay when running a good fifth at Goodwood over 14 furlongs and I feel that this extended 10 furlongs could prove to be an inspired bit of placing by his trainer.
A truly run race is the key to him and there are at least two front-runners here, so that looks guaranteed.
He loves the track and Ben Curtis rides York very well, something clearly not lost on his trainer who has only used him once previously.
Aidan O’Brien has only had two previous runners in the Cesarewitch and neither were massively fancied (one finished fifth at 16-1) but with the recent massive injection of prize money I have no doubt things are going to change.
Southern France is the top-rated horse in the race but as a three-year-old does is not burdened with top weight.
However, I believe he would go very close to winning even if he didn’t get any allowance such is his rate of improvement.
He ran a cracker in what I feel was a decent renewal of the St Leger and possibly helped his stablemate winner, Kew Gardens, by getting in front too early.
Southern France has clearly been trained with an eye on the “Cup” races next season given his programme this term and I suspect this will be the only time we see him in a handicap.
It is a shrewd placement because there are few, if any, real improvers such as him in the field.
His high draw in this big field is a slight concern, as I prefer them lower, but I am hoping Southern France’s class will enable him to negate that and am also expecting the extreme test to bring about even more improvement.
If it does he will beat this field of jumpers and decent but exposed handicappers.
Won nicely at Hamilton on his penultimate start in a race that is proving strong form and he then again ran well in another very good race for the track five weeks later.
This is his first nursery and I believe the handicapper has been lenient in giving him a mark of 83. Oisin Murphy has never stopped impressing all season and if the rain does get as far east as Newmarket soft conditions won’t be a worry.