Irish Cesarewitch Tips & Betting Preview

The Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket may take centre stage on Saturday, but on Sunday it’s the turn of the Tote Irish Cesarewitch with a prize pool of €100,000.

Our tip for this 2 mile contest is Slunovrat, following a success over the pond in York last month. His previous attempt at this trip had been unsuccessful but he’s in excellent heart and took apart a quality field – the second won 11 days later, third was seeking a hatrick and fourth had finished second on his two previous starts in some good races. As David Meuisier said after his York win, he simply didn’t stay last year, but is now a “much stronger horse” and that has showed. He remains well handicapped despite going up 8lb, and Colin Keane is a good booking.

Pyromaniac heads the betting line up as one of just two horses who are single figure odds, despite carrying the third highest weight with a rating of 92. Promising apprentice Oisin Orr takes 5lb off,having ridden Quick Jack to victory ahead of his ride today in a Premier Handicap at Leopardstown last time out. Up 5lb for that second place (which is largely negated by the use of the jockey) A J Martin has had a stunning season in these long distance handicaps, with a one two in the aforementioned Premier Handicap and first and third in the York Ebor. The favourite is a previous Course & Distance winner here and conditions will suit but he is a short price in a competitive handicap and, like last time out, he may find one too good again.

Swamp Fox is the current second favourite for Joe Murphy who won his 3rd Group race in the last 10 years this year with Only Mine. Swamp Fox has been his biggest earner this year though, with £42,241 of prize money, including a Grade C victory in the Lartigue Handicap Hurdle last time out at Listowel and a win at the Galway Festival over 2m 1f. Swapping back to the flat after his jumping win, he’s now 8lb higher than at Galway where he was given a good ride by a 7lb claimer. This is a more competitive race and he will find this much more difficult up in the weights, although there is improvement yet to come from this 4 year old.

Cradle Mountain provides a flat runner for Joseph O’Brien, who has an impressive 15% strike rate on the turf from his 112 runners this year including a Group 1 victory in the Moyglare. Despite winning last week over hurdles, this Jonjo O’Neill gelding has refused to race twice since July of last year, including on his last flat start at Galway. While he is potentially well handicapped and clearly in good heart, he’s not one to put too much trust in given his previous antics.

Three others to keep an eye on at bigger odds – Willie Mullins has won this race twice in the last 10 years, including with Digeanta at 16/1 last year, and his sole representative this year is Laws Of Spin at big prices. An easy winner last time out, he looked value for more than his 1.5 length victory and while the handicapper has been harsh with a 7lb rise he’s clearly progressive and should run well.

Weld and Smullen are too powerful a partnership to ignore and Magnolia Rose could run well as the least exposed in the field by far. She’s had just two starts, both over 1m 5f at Navan, running all over two horses rated in the mid 80s last time out. An opening mark of 94 looks far from lenient and she races older horses for the first time, but with significant allowances she could run well at a big price.

Finally, Rashaan boasts the only 100% winning record on the Flat of all the competitors – one run, one win. He’s a 131 rated hurdler who won a 3 year old Grade 3 Hurdle a year ago and a mark of 84 may underestimate him given how unexposed he is. Trainer Colin Kidd doesn’t have many runners – just 14 on the Flat in the last 5 seasons – and this €8,500 purchase from His Highness Aga Khan would be a fairytale winner.

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