Cambridgeshire Handicap 2018: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

Closing stages at Newmarket
Saturday's Cambridgeshire Handicap is worth £99,600 to the winner

Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Cambridgeshire Stakes and pick out their 1-2-3...

"Pattern performer in the making who makes plenty of appeal from same mark."

Timeform on Sharjah Bridge

1. CIRCUS COUTURE (Jane Chapple-Hyam/John Egan)
Won minor event at Rome in March, and good length second to Here Comes When in Superior Mile at Haydock last time. Third from 1 lb lower in Royal Hunt Cup earlier this season so not discounted.

2. PIVOINE (Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy)
Smart handicapper who won at Sandown in June and proved better than ever to win 15-runner event at York (in first-time blinkers replacing visor) last time by two and a half lengths from Alfarris. 8 lb higher mark demands more but could have even more to offer.

3. SHARJAH BRIDGE (Roger Varian/Silvestre De Sousa)
Hasn't won this season but has proved himself a very smart performer, arguably unlucky not to win 1m handicap at York won by Poet's Society last time, slightly losing his footing (seemed to hit a ridge) over a furlong out. Pattern performer in the making who makes plenty of appeal from same mark.

4. MOUNTAIN HUNTER (Saeed bin Suroor/Hector Crouch)
Won 1¼m handicap at Meydan in January and well backed after seven months off when three and a half lengths fifth to Another Eclipse at Doncaster last time. Unlucky not to finish closer, badly hampered in final furlong, and isn't without hope here.

5. ALFARRIS (William Haggas/Jim Crowley)
Developed into a smart performer this season, winning handicaps at Chelmsford and Goodwood, both over 1¼m. Very good two and a half lengths second to Pivoine at York last time, and now 5 lb better off with that rival, so this lightly-raced four-year-old has to be high on the shortlist.

6. SENIORITY (William Haggas/Daniel Tudhope)
Won three times this year, notably Betfred Mile at Goodwood (by half a length from Poet's Society) in August. Not disgraced when four and three quarter lengths sixth to Lord Glitters in Strensall Stakes at York last time, but likely vulnerable from career-high mark.

7. AFAAK (Charles Hills/Dane O'Neill)
Smart handicapper who won at York (by one and a half lengths from Love Dreams) in May and has held form well since. Respectable three and a half lengths third to Euginio in 1¼m minor event at Doncaster last time and should appreciate return to a big-field scenario.

8. WISSAHICKON (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori)
Proved very progressive this term, winning three of his four starts, latest in 1¼m handicap at Chelmsford by one and a quarter lengths from Blue Mist. Has a smashing all-weather pedigree, but has already shown turf holds no fears, and he could yet have more to offer.

9. VERY TALENTED (Saeed bin Suroor/Rossa Ryan)
Finished third in 2016 renewal of this race and overcame two-year absence to win 1m handicap at Chelmsford last week, looking well ahead of his mark. Well treated under a 4 lb penalty provided this run doesn't come too soon.

10. TRICORN (John Gosden/James Doyle)
Smart performer at best and ran best race for a while when good half-length second to Corrosive in 1m handicap at Chelmsford last time, carrying head awkwardly but staying on well. Extra furlong will suit and commands respect from same mark.

11. ABE LINCOLN (Jeremy Noseda/Luke Morris)
All three wins have come on all-weather, latest in 1¼m handicap at Lingfield in February. Record on turf not convincing and faces tough task after six months off from career-high mark.

12. KENYA (Aidan O'Brien/Seamie Heffernan)
Made winning handicap debut from 8 lb lower in Irish equivalent of this race earlier this month and wasn't disgraced when one and three quarter lengths second to I Can Fly in Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown last time. Very interesting in current vein of form.

13. KYNREN (David Barron/William Buick)
Yet to win this season but hasn't been out of first three and latest neck second to Poet's Society in 1m handicap at York was a career best, deserving extra credit given the ground he made up. 3 lb higher here, but will be suited by step back up in trip and any rain would be in his favour.

14. UAE PRINCE (Roger Varian/Andrea Atzeni)
Creditable one and a half lengths second to Grey Britain in 1½m handicap here when last seen in May, quickening to lead over a furlong out before finding less than looked likely. Only 2 lb higher now and drop in trip will suit, however a little disconcerting we haven't seen him since.

15. MISTIROC (John Quinn/Sean Davis)
Shaped as if retaining a good chunk of ability when finishing last of five at Epsom on first run for 14 months last time. Produced a terrific effort to finish third in the John Smith's Cup on his final start last season, and would have claims if bringing his best with claimer taking a useful 5 lb off.

16. VIA VIA (James Tate/Tom Marquand)
Seemingly not easiest to train but he is very useful, running well in first-time blinkers to split a pair of progressive three-year-olds here over a mile last time, having failed to stay 10f at Redcar in May. It's been a while since he last won, however, and headgear again applied.

17. WAARIF (David O'Meara/Conor McGovern)
Enjoying a fine season and progressed again when winning a handicap off a mark 17 lb higher than the beginning of the year at Ayr last time. Penalty gets him into this race and can't be ruled out with claimer again booked.

18. EURO NIGHTMARE (Keith Dalgleish/Martin Harley)
Useful performer who hasn't disgraced herself in Group company since Ayr listed success in May but suspicion is she may find this mark too steep now returned to handicap company.

19. RAISING SAND (Jamie Osborne/Nicola Currie)
Boasts a good record here, fourth in this race last year and shaped as if still in form when eighth in a competitive handicap at Ascot last time after 9 weeks off. Could be a danger with that run under his belt.

20. ZWAYYAN (Andrew Balding/Jason Watson)
Resumed winning ways in claiming handicap on the AW last month. Nothing wrong with his effort off this mark at Ascot (1m, good to firm) subsequently, but he may find this too competitive.

21. DANCETERIA (David Menusier/Fran Berry)
Completed four-timer in 1¼m handicap on July course last month and, though he had winning run ended at the Curragh last time, he was far from discredited, faring much the best of those ridden in rear. 1 lb lower now and could yet have more to offer.

22. WHAT'S THE STORY (Keith Dalgleish/Tom Queally)
Back on the scoresheet at Newcastle in June and acquitted himself well in top handicaps on next 2 starts. Latest effort at Galway best overlooked, but others preferred all the same.

23. VENTURA KNIGHT (Mark Johnston/Ben Curtis)
Notched third success of 2018 at Ayr in July, but limitations seemingly exposed since and it's easy enough to look elsewhere.

24. VIA SERENDIPITY (Stuart Williams/Gerald Mosse)
Consistent and progressive type, who got his head back in front at Ascot (1m, good to firm) last time. 3 lb rise fair enough, but will need to better anything he's previously achieved to take this.

25. MYTHICAL MADNESS (David O'Meara/Cameron Noble)
Returned to form when third in the 8-runner handicap won by Very Talented at Chelmsford (1m) recently. However, it's not easy to envisage him reversing the placings with that rival here.

26. THIRD TIME LUCKY (Richard Fahey/Jack Garrity)
Won this race in 2015 from 2 lb lower. Bounced back to form to win 1m handicap at York in July and was caught wide when only midfield in Betfred Mile won by Seniority at Goodwood last time. Others perhaps better treated but record over C&D means he can't be ignored.

27. KINGS GIFT (Michael Dods/Shane Kelly)
Regained the winning thread at Ayr last month, but was well adrift of Pivoine at York since and he's basically opposable off the same mark here.

28. RESTORER (Ian Williams/Richard Kingscote)
Successful on return/debut for new yard at Chester in May. Has failed to reproduce form akin to that in 3 subsequent starts, though, and others are more appealing.

29. EXAMINER (Stuart Williams/Sebastian Woods)
Wasn't beaten far when sixth in this race 12 months ago and again put his best foot forward here when scoring at the Craven meeting in April. However, below par since and now tried in cheekpieces.

30. SABADOR (Ed Walker/Jamie Spencer)
Dual winner in 2017 and arrives here on the back of a couple of solid efforts, latterly a close third off this mark in a valuable Ascot handicap (7f, good to firm). Well worth a crack at this trip.

31. MASHAM STAR (Mark Johnston/Andrew Breslin)
Has added a couple of handicaps to his tally this season and lost little caste in defeat when runner-up at Bath a fortnight ago. He's thoroughly exposed, though, and is likely to struggle here.

32. STYLEHUNTER (John Gosden/Robert Havlin)
Progressive type who won 1¼m minor event at Chelmsford in May and showed impressive turn of foot to win handicap at Goodwood last time by four lengths from Easy Tiger. Good sixth in Britannia at Royal Ascot in between and rates a big player here if getting a run (needs four to come out).

33. MORDIN (Simon Crisford/Pas Cosgrave)
Smart performer who won first three starts, but essentially outbattled when second to Majboor in 1m handicap at Sandown last time, looming up two furlongs out. Could be seen to better effect in a race of this nature, though, and respected from same mark.

34. SANDS CHORUS (James Given/Wayne Lordan)
Cracking effort when runner-up in the 2017 renewal of this race, but hasn't come remotely close to matching that form in half-a-dozen subsequent starts.

35. BRAVERY (David O'Meara/Gabriele Malune)
Left reappearance run well behind when second at Redcar last month, but has retreated back into his shell since.

Minimum Bet Guarantee

Betfair's 'minimum bet guarantee' on all Class 1 and 2 races in the UK and Ireland - which means all customers are able to bet to win a minimum of £500 - has been extended to cover all races at selected meetings this week. T&Cs apply.

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open your account today using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn - £/€20 Back in cash if your bet loses
Bet Now

T&Cs apply.

Read past articles