Friday, September 03, 2010




MICHAEL DODS, whose County Durham yard is starting to fire once again after a lean summer, is weighing up the £160,000 Cambridgeshire (3.40pm) for three of his stable stalwarts at Newmarket on Saturday, 2nd October.

This year’s renewal of the historic nine-furlong handicap has attracted a bumper entry of 146, up from 134 in 2009, with horses that fail to make the cut for Cambridgeshire eligible for the £40,000 Standing For Success Handicap (Silver Cambridgeshire) on Friday, 1 October (please see below for further details).

Sweet Lightning (9st 2lb, 14/1), Tiger Reigns (8st 12lb, 40/1) and Thin Red Line (8st 7lb, 33/1) are all engaged in the prestigious nine-furlong heritage handicap, weights for which are released today, Wednesday, 1st September, 2010.

Sweet Lightning showed his well-being at York’s Ebor Festival on 17th August, when winning a competitive 10-furlong handicap, while Thin Red Line ran with credit on the Knavesmire the following day when a close sixth to The Fonz over 12 furlongs.

But it is Tiger Reigns, campaigned exclusively at a mile this term, who Dods sees as his number one hope at this stage, despite the gelding having finished unplaced on his last two starts.

Dods revealed today: “At the moment, Sweet Lightning and Tiger Reigns are the most likely of the three to go to Newmarket for the Cambridgeshire.

“Sweet Lightning will most likely go to Newbury for the Dubai Duty Free Handicap (18th September) and then we will decide after that. Thin Red Line, we are not sure whether he might be better over a longer trip but we have given him the entry and Tiger Reigns will be the most likely runner because I think the race will suit him well.

“Tiger Reigns would love it soft. He has been struggling a bit this season because he has only had his ground once, that was at Haydock last month when he had a bad draw and was lumping 10st but still managed to come fourth.

“You can’t get it soft enough for him - he just keeps going on that sort of ground. He has struggled because, off a high handicap mark, he has had to run in races when the ground wasn’t ideal. When he gets his conditions, he will do all right.

“Sweet Lightning travels well and he deserved to have an entry so we could make a decision nearer the time. He travelled sweetly at York and picked up well that day. He is happy on the slow side of good and the same goes for Thin Red Line.”

Dods enjoyed his best ever seasonal tallies in 2008 and 2009 with 49 winners but this year has brought only 22 winners to date despite notable investment. The experienced handler puts this down to his horses being off colour through mid-summer, a time when the yard traditionally reaps a rich harvest.

The Denton Hall trainer said: “Some of them came in a few weeks after we bought them at the breeze-ups and just spread something to the other horses. We had to sit very patiently through July. Normally we would be running everything at that time but I wasn’t happy with them so I ran very few.

“Now they are coming right so we are getting on again and everything I have run recently has run well, placed or won. I’m happy with them although one or two of the two-year-olds aren’t quite there yet so we will just continue to be patient with them.”

Marcus Tregoning has a fascinating prospect in one-time Derby hope Taameer (9st 4lb, 25/1), who has not raced since finishing fifth of six behind Above Average in the Group Three Classic Trial at Sandown in April, 2009.

The Beat Hollow colt was sent off the 13/8 favourite for that contest, having finished runner-up to the high-class Kite Wood in the Group Three Autumn Stakes at Ascot, the second of two juvenile starts the previous season.

Tregoning said: “It’s not certain that Taameer will go to Newmarket for the Cambridgeshire, it’s a possibility at this stage. We haven’t really decided where we are going with him. He is coming on well and will be ready for it but we need to decide whether it is the right race for him.

“He picked up an injury and has been away from here recuperating. He came back into training about six weeks ago, so he is almost ready and he will probably run next week, maybe in a handicap at Doncaster. That is the first plan and we will see from there how well he is, but he is going all right at the moment.”

Distant Memories (20/1), trained by Tom Tate, has been allotted top-weight of 9st 11lb after winning the Group Three Winter Hill Stakes at Windsor on 28th August.

A high-class entry includes several horses that have proven form in Pattern races, among them the Clive Cox-trained three-year-old Black Spirit (9st 5lb, 25/1), third in the Group Two Prix Guillaume D’Ornano at Deauville last month, and the Roger Teal-trained Steele Tango (9st 3lb, 25/1), winner of the Group Three Darley Stakes over the course and distance last October.

Two classy German raiders could take their chances - the Torsten Mundry-trained Group Three-placed Scolari (9st 8lb, 40/1) and the Pieter Schiergen-trained Neatico (9st 4lb, 33/1), successful in that grade as a juvenile last term.

Also of note, the Barry Hills-trained Britannia Handicap winner Ransom Note (12/1 joint favourite) has 9st 3lb, stablemate and fellow three-year-old Critical Moment (20/1) has 9st 4lb, the Luca Cumani-trained pair of Acrostic (16/1) and Forte Di Marmi (14/1) have 9st 6lb and 9st 2lb respectively, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Royal Hunt Cup winner Invisible Man (20/1) as been allotted 9st 8lb, while the Mick Channon-trained Aattash (16/1) has 8st 11lb. The other 12/1 joint-favourite is Lost In The Moment (7st 13lb), winner of his last two starts for Newmarket handler Jeremy Noseda.

Old stager Nanton (9st 3lb, 33/1), trained by Jim Goldie, was third behind Supaseus in last year’s Cambridgeshire and runner-up in 2008, and has competed with great credit in Group Two company this term.

Irish handler Tony Martin landed the Cambridgeshire in 1999 with She’s Our Mare and his totesport Ebor fourth Salute Him (33/1) has 9st 5lb.

The Cambridgeshire has a safety limit of 35 runners and this year, for the first time, the Rowley Mile is hosting a consolation race for those horses that do not make the cut at the 48-hour stage.

Taking place over the same course and distance on Friday, 1st October is the £40,000 Standing For Success Handicap (Silver Cambridgeshire). This contest, one of six races on the card generously supported by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell breeding operation, also has a maximum field of 35 and is an exciting innovation undertaken by Newmarket Racecourses. Cambridgeshire – sponsors bet: 12 Lost In The Moment, Ransom Note, 14 Forte Dei Marmi, Start Right, Sweet Lightning, Taqleed, 16 Acrostic, Aattash, Beachfire, Hanoverian Baron, King Of Reason, Proponent, Set The Trend, Tryst, 20 Absinthe, Balducci, Cityscape, Critical Moment, Day Of The Eagle, Distant Memories, High Twelve, Innocuous, Invisible Man, Rock Critic, Rock N Roll Ransom, Tamaathul, 25 Al Khaleej, Black Spirit, Capponi, Clockmaker, Con Artist, Don’t Call Me, Greylami, Highland Knight, Invincible Soul, Irish Heartbeat, King Of Windsor, Lucky Windmill, Mutamaashi, Nationalism, Nazreef, Pires, Steele Tango, Stone Of Scone, Suruor, Taameer, 33 Breakheart, Colepepper, Constant Contact, Designated Decoy, Elliptical, Emirates Dream, Fair Trade, Hillview Boy, Indian Days, Jo'burg, Leviathan, Nanton, Neatico, Our Joe Mac, Pallantes Cross, Rakaan, Rashaad, Royal Destination, Salute Him, Sand Skier, Sandor, Sarrsar, Smarty Socks, Sour Mash, Speed Dating, Splinter Cell, Tartan Gigha, Tartan Gunna, Tartan Trip, Thin Red Line, 40 Aspectoflove, Aspectus, Brunston, Changing The Guard, Christmas Carnival, Circumvent, Directorship, Dolphin Rock, Gold Rules, Major Phil, Mirrored, Red Jade, Roman Republic, Scolari, Shavansky, Stevie Thunder, Tepmokea, Tiger Reigns, Vainglory, 50 Be Invincible, Big Audio, Caldercruix, Camerooney, Charlie Cool, Classic Colori, Cloudy Start, Dream Lodge, Ginger Jack, Good Again, Greyfriarschorista, King Olav, Mahadee, Markazzi, Northern Fling, Opus Maximus, Party Doctor, Pendragon, Silver Rime, The Galloping Show, The Which Doctor, Truism, What's New Pussycat, 66 Audemar, Beauchamp Xerxes, Credit Swap, In Footlights, Levera, Reve de Nuit, Smokey Oakey, Space Station, Swiss Cross, The Cayterers, Viva Vettori, 100 Espero, European Dream, Final Verse, Follow The Flag, High Resolution, Maristar, Marvo, Moheebb, Mustakmil, Rosko, Seasonal Cross, Sequillo, Spirit Of A Nation, 200 Dream Win, Global, Sedgwick, 500 Nicholas Pocock.




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