Newmarket stages the equine equivalent of the National Lottery on Saturday when a field of 34 line up for the Cesarewitch (4.10pm).
With a 50/1 winner 12 months ago, not to mention 66/1 winners in two of the three previous years, it’s a race where the hat pin may prove more useful than the form book.
That said, the Sir Mark Prescott-trained St Michel slips in at the foot of the weights and is fairly thrown in on his latest Doncaster Cup third.
Only two three-year-olds have won this competitive staying handicap in the last 25 years, with the latest being Darley Sun.
He bolted up in 2009 having also been narrowly touched off in the Doncaster Cup on his previous start. However, St Michel has a shocking draw in stall 33 and I’m happy to avoid him at just 6/1.
I’d rather take a chance on David Pipe’s STARCHITECT who comes here on the back of an impressive win over a much shorter trip at Salisbury.
The five-year-old failed to make the cut at Royal Ascot, so comes here a fresh horse and is reportedly in great nick according to his trainer.
David’s father Martin saddled two winners of this race, so the Pipe team are to be respected when it comes to readying one for this valuable pot.
Admittedly Starchitect’s draw in 26 isn’t ideal, but he has the right pilot in Jamie Spencer and should have no issues with the trip. Take the 8/1 with Betway.
There are plenty of others in the lineup with a solid chance, but experience tells me that you have to side with runners with no stamina doubts in this gruelling contest.
For that reason, I’m going to have a few quid each-way on the filly STAR RIDER at 25/1 with Betway.
The stable saddle a more likely contender in Sweet Selection on paper, but Star Rider won over further than this at Goodwood and looks an out-and-out stayer.
She will keep going when others have cried enough and is a more than fair price.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won two of the previous three runnings of the Group One Dewhurst Stakes (3.30pm) and it would be no surprise to see him add to his collection earlier in the card.
Churchill is his main contender and he will be looking to test his 2,000 Guineas credentials against the likes of Blue Point, Rivet and South Seas in his stiffest task to date.
However, at odds of just 4/5 and with only seven declared, the race doesn’t look an appealing betting proposition.
Instead, it’s worth turning attention to the Andre Fabre-trained ANCIENT HISTORY in the Group Three Darley Stakes (5.20pm).
This son of Shamardal won well at Maisons-Laffitte last time, beating stablemate Rajkumar.
With two wins from his four starts he looks like a horse who is still on an upward curve and Andre Fabre has a brilliant record on the Rowley Mile.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Nigel Tinkler’s NORMANDY BARRIERE looks a tempting proposition in the Coral Sprint Trophy at York (3.45pm).
He came home a well-backed winner at Doncaster last month and looks ready to go close again with claimer Lewis Edmunds taking off some valuable weight.
The four-year-old has been progressive all season and can land his fourth win of the campaign.
Normandy Barriere e/w 3.45pm York
Starchitect e/w 4.10pm Newmarket
Star Rider e/w 4.10pm Newmarket
Ancient History e/w 5.20pm Newmarket