What are the best bets in Friday's Silver Cambridgeshire at Newmarket?
The Cambridgeshire consolation race (due off 5.55pm) is typically wide open, although we’re at least faced with a more manageable field of 21 compared to Saturday’s 35-runner cavalry charge.
They are headed by John Gosden’s Daily Bulletin who is carrying a 4lb penalty for hacking up on the all-weather at Chelmsford 11 days ago. He’s undoubtedly well in here despite top weight and an entry in the Group 1 Champion Stakes suggests he’s considered better than a handicapper. That may be so but he ran a couple of shockers on turf prior to his latest success and that combined with his lack of experience for a race of this nature, hardly makes me want to back him at just 11/2.
The Richard Fahey-trained Dawn Mirage is disputing favouritism with some firms but he looks handicapped up to his best and that’s a comment that also applies to Cote d’Azur, who has been beaten twice off today’s mark since rattling up a four-timer. Luca Cumani’s Laurence is proving hard to win with and looks plenty short enough at 8/1, so there is considerable scope for backing one each-way at a big price and it doesn’t hurt to have a couple running for you in a race of this nature.
Ideally, you are looking for a horse who stays an extra furlong as they will go a strong gallop and the pure milers will likely be running in empty close home. That does help to narrow down the field and the rejuvenated SILVER ALLIANCE is a perfect fit as he won his last two starts since being fitted with blinkers, both over 1m2f and on fast ground turf which seems important to him – he’s now 6-22 on good to firm or faster and has his conditions here. Amateur-ridden the last twice, he’s now reunited with Adam Beschizza who has won on him previously and landed a rare autumn double (Cambridgeshire-Cesarewitch) last year.
The other one to back is Mick Appleby’s PALMERSTON, a 20/1 shot with Sky Bet. The three-year-old has a progressive profile with a couple of wins on the board this season, including a mile handicap here in July, and he looked a shade unlucky not to follow up over the same track and trip on his next start as he had to be switched out wide before staying on strongly into second just half a length behind the winner Predilection. You can forget his last run at Yarmouth as he was badly hampered and there is a good chance we have yet to see the best of this horse, who was nominated as one to keep an eye out for in a recent Stable Tour.
A quick word on the draw. Four of the last six winners of the Cambridgeshire were drawn or lower and, while that might not necessarily apply in this smaller-field consolation, I hope it does as the selections are drawn next to each other in stalls five and six respectively.