Cambridgeshire Handicap 2017: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

The Cambridgeshire takes place at Newmarket on Saturday
The Cambridgeshire takes place at Newmarket on Saturday

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket...

Cambridgeshire Handicap
Saturday, 30th September

1. CARRY ON DERYCK (Saeed Bin Suroor/David Egan(3))
Second in this race 12 months ago and shaped well when neck third on return in Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury in August, keeping on gamely. Below-form at Veliefendi last time, however.

2. MASTER THE WORLD (David Elsworth/Jamie Spencer)
Won Betfred Mile at Goodwood in August before respectable fourth in Strensall Stakes at York last time, needing stronger gallop. 9 lb higher than when second in this race in 2015.

3. GM HOPKINS (John Gosden/Adam Kirby)
Won listed race at Ascot in 2016 and shaped as if still in good form when five and three quarter lengths 13th in Betfred Mile last time, badly hampered approaching last half-furlong.

4. YOU'RE FIRED (Karl Burke/Patrick O'Hanlon(7))
Won handicap at Haydock in 2016. Off six months, best effort this year when two and a half lengths third to Kryptos at Doncaster last time, nearest finish. Looks summed up by his mark.

5. CENTRAL SQUARE (Roger Varian/Andrea Atzeni)
Won three times in 2016, including handicaps at Ayr and Doncaster. In first-time cheekpieces, below form in Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh last time, and this trip looks a bare minimum.

6. LINGUISTIC (John Gosden/James Doyle)
Proved at least as good as ever after 10 months off when neck second to Absolute Blast in listed race at Kempton last time, needing stiffer test. Likely to prove most effective at 1½m and further.

7. EDDYSTONE ROCK (John Best/Pat Dobbs)
Won at York in August before creditable four lengths seventh to Brorocco at Newbury last time, one paced when it mattered. Looks up against it from career high mark.

8. BIG COUNTRY (Michael Appleby/Silvestre de Sousa)
Won at Wolverhampton in February, Kempton in April and at York in June. More improvement when three quarters of a length second to Ballet Concerto in John Smith's Cup at York last time, finishing well having been short of room briefly. Might not have finished improving yet.

9. THA'IR (Michael Appleby/Robert Winston)
Three wins, including listed race at Sandown and Anatolia Trophy at Veliefendi, but not seen for 19 months before shaping well on first start for new yard at Goodwood last month.

10. SIR CHAUVELIN (Jim Goldie/Phil Dennis (3))
Useful handicapper who won at Hamilton in May and was a respectable six-length seventh to Soldier In Action at Goodwood last time. Usually races towards rear.

11. QASSEM (Hugo Palmer/Josephine Gordon)
Won handicap at Chelmsford in August before good one and three quarter lengths second to Flaming Spear in handicap at York last time, leading until a furlong out. Further progress required here.

12. VERY TALENTED (Saeed Bin Suroor/Pat Smullen)
Back to best last two starts in 2016, including when three and three quarter lengths third to Spark Plug in this race, first home in his group. This a stiff task on belated reappearance, however.

13. CHELSEA LAD (Martyn Meade/Richard Kingscote)
Produced career-best effort when third at Windsor in July and shaped well when ninth to Flaming Spear at York last time, finding trouble. Looks on a fair mark and will be of interest again.

14. WEEKEND OFFENDER (Kevin Ryan/Kevin Stott)
Won at Ayr (by one and three quarter lengths from Royal Regent) in August, but well below form last time, dropping away over two furlongs out, and has something to prove at present.

15. BRIARDALE (James Bethell/Ted Durcan)
Won at Newcastle in April and Redcar (by six lengths from Rainbow Rebel) in May, but has been a long way below form on last two starts, possibly amiss when well held last time.

16. GREENSIDE (Henry Candy/Harry Bentley)
Lightly-raced sort who won at Sandown in June and had very little go right when well held in Betfred Mile last time, poorly placed after early trouble. Cannot be ruled out if bouncing back here.

17. BRAVERY (David O'Meara/Colin Keane)
Won Lincoln at Doncaster (by neck from Oh This Is Us) in April, but unable to match that form since. Excuse (off just two days) for modest run last time, though, and fairly-treated now.

18. BATTLE OF MARATHON (John Ryan/Jack Osborn (7))
Third in Lincoln and fifth in Hunt Cup in 2016, but last on first three starts this year. Step back in right direction when four and a quarter lengths fourth at Doncaster last time.

19. EL HAYEM (Sir Michael Stoute/Ryan Moore)
Won at Sandown (by neck from Gm Hopkins) in July before shaping well after seven weeks off when three and three-quarter lengths fifth to Flaming Spear at York last time, not ideally placed. Respected with extra furlong likely to be well within his range.

20. DOLPHIN VISTA (Martyn Meade/George Wood (3))
Won at Ripon (twice) and Beverley in 2016. Better than result when fifth in Lincoln and shaped as if needing the run when sixth to Thundering Blue on yard debut last time.

21. LEADER WRITER (Henry Spiller/Fran Berry)
Ran as well as ever when winning handicap at Ascot (by two and a quarter lengths from Storm Ahead) last time, forging clear inside final furlong. Entitled to plenty of respect from just 4 lb higher.

22. KINGS GIFT (Michael Dods/Callum Rodriguez (5))
Back to form when three and a quarter lengths third to Mojito at York last time, headed over a furlong out. That effort seemingly exposed his limitations from current mark, however.

23. NOVOMAN (William Haggas/Georgia Cox (5))
Useful handicapper who won at York in July and improved further to follow up at Goodwood (by length from Anythingtoday) last time, quickening to lead two furlongs out. May do better still.

24. EXAMINER (Stuart Williams/Aaron Jones (3))
Won at Salisbury in June and step back in right direction when four lengths sixth to Raising Sand at Ascot last time. Often races towards rear.

25. CAPTAIN CAT (Tony Carroll/Hollie Doyle (3))
Usually seen on the all-weather, but well held when last in 11-runner handicap at Ascot earlier this month. Quirky (has awkward head carriage).

26. COTE D'AZUR (Les Eyre/Paul Hanagan)
Won at Thirsk in May but below form last three starts, including when last of seven in handicap at Pontefract last time. Looks up against it here.

27. THUNDERING BLUE (David Menuisier/Jim Crowley)
Won at Epsom in July and Newmarket in August, and was value for extra when completing hat-trick at Sandown (by one and a half lengths from Monarchs Glen) last time. Looks sure to go well again.

28. NAVAL WARFARE (Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy)
Won handicaps at Leicester in May and Newmarket in August. Off six weeks, good length fourth to Khafoo Shememi in listed race at Sandown last time, and should continue to give good account.

29. BROROCCO (Andrew Balding/Andrew Probert)
Won at Epsom (by length from Banditry) in April and resumed progress when also winning 19-runner event at Newbury (by length from Fidaawy) last time. Potentially well treated under a penalty.

30. NICHOLAS T (Jim Goldie/John Egan)
Won at Doncaster in April, and at Ayr in May and June. In-and-out since, but repeat of second at Ascot (two lengths behind Raising Sand) in August would give him a squeak.

31. SECRET ART (William Knight/Martin Dwyer)
Won at Windsor in May and similar form when third there in August. Off just seven days before creditable fourth to The Grape Escape at Sandown last time.

32. RED TEA (Peter Hiatt/Ryan Tate)
Won at Pontefract (by two and a quarter lengths from Sands Chorus) in April, but well below form last time. Needs to bounce back, which could prove tough in this higher grade.

33. SANDS CHORUS (James Given/Barry McHugh)
Won at Ripon in May, June and July, by two and a quarter lengths from Mulligatawny latest occasion, and respectable sixth to Mutamaded at latter course last time. Usually leads.

34. MULLIGATAWNY (Roger Fell/Jimmy Quinn)
Won at Ripon in July: 5/1 and turned tables on Sands Chorus when length second to Mutamaded at same course last time, headed late on.

35. SINFONIETTA (David Menuisier/Rosie Jessop (3))
Third of 27 to Elusive Time in Irish Cambridgeshire at the Curragh penultimate start, but below form at Doncaster last time. Should appreciate return to more testing ground.

Timeform Cambridgeshire 1-2-3

1. Big Country
2. Thundering Blue
3. Brorocco

Timeform Cambridgeshire Analyst's Verdict

A second in the John Smith's Cup represented another step forward for BIG COUNTRY and Mick Appleby's charge is taken to improve again and come out on top in a race which looks sure to play to his strengths. Thundering Blue is much feared with his latest Sandown win boosted by the runner-up landing a listed race earlier in the week. Brorocco, El Hayem and Chelsea Lad are also shortlisted.

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