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

Horses running on the Rowley Mile
The Cambridgeshire Handicap takes place at Newmarket on Saturday

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

"...This longer trip looks ideal and he is a leading player..."

Timeform on Tempus

1. Certain Lad (Mick Channon/ George Bass)
Has proved better than ever this year and made the breakthrough at Group level when landing the Strensall Stakes at York last month, keeping on well. Previously second in the John Smith's Cup but a mighty effort is needed to prevail here.

2. Sir Busker (William Knight/ Callum Shepherd)
Has shown big improvement this year, landing a competitive handicap at Newcastle before bagging the Silver Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. Runner-up three times since, including in the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood last time, and hard to rule out another big run back in a handicap.

3. Montatham (William Haggas/ Jim Crowley)
Big improver this year who has won three handicaps over a mile and finished runner-up to an all-the-way winner in a listed race at Sandown last week. The extra furlong and stronger gallop here will suit.

4. Fifth Position (Roger Varian/ Andrea Atzeni)
Got off the mark for the season in a mile and a quarter handicap at Doncaster in June, beating Anythingtoday and Derevo, who reoppose here. Has run well on two of his three subsequent starts but doesn't look the most straightforward and will need to improve for the drop back in trip.

5. Bell Rock (Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy)
Proved successful here on his handicap debut/seasonal reappearance in June, staying on strongly to win a mile handicap. Below his best when sixth in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot but ran well over a mile and a quarter at Goodwood last time. Could go well back in trip from stall 24.

6. Sinjaari (William Haggas/ Tom Marquand)
Ran well in some strong three-year-old handicaps last season and, having been gelded, produced a career-best to win the John Smith's Cup at York on his reappearance, beating Certain Lad. Obvious claims on the back of that impressive success and impossible to dismiss off an 8 lb higher mark. In-form jockey Tom Marquand takes the ride.

7. Afaak (Charles Hills/ Dane O'Neill)
Won the Royal Hunt Cup in 2019 and has produced some good efforts in defeat since, most notably when third in the Golden Mile at Glorious Goodwood in July. Has been brushed aside by Tempus the last twice, however, and made little impact in this race for the last two years.

8. Al Rufaa (John Gosden/ Frankie Dettori)
Progressed well this year to land a hat-trick in seven-furlong handicaps. Not so good in messy four-runner race at Haydock last time but this bigger field and step up in trip should suit, and his draw in 22 looks a positive. Represents John Gosden, who has won this race five times, including the last two years.

9. Power of Darkness (Marcus Tregoning/ Kieran Shoemark)
Finished last season on the up, winning a couple of mile handicaps. No impact on his return in June but he may have needed the run, and is difficult to rule out as this test promises to suit.

10. Bear Force One (Roger Teal/ Shane Foley)
Responded well to the application of first-time cheekpieces when landing a mile handicap on the July Course, but he wasn't so good off this mark over seven furlongs last time and more is needed for him to make an impact here on his first start beyond a mile.

11. Tempus (Roger Charlton/ Jason Watson)
Well-bred, lightly-raced type who has shown improved form this year, being awarded the race at Newbury on return before looking a smart prospect when easily following up at Ascot three weeks ago. This longer trip looks ideal and he is a leading player.

12. King Carney (Charlie Fellowes/ William Buick)
Progressed well as a two-year-old, signing off for the season with wins in the mud at Nottingham and in a listed race at Pontefract. Produced his best effort this term when third behind Tempus on handicap debut at Newbury off this mark, but needs to find more to make an impact here.

13. Derevo (Sir Michael Stoute/ Ryan Moore)
Has shaped well on a number of occasions this season and ran his best race yet when second off this mark at Doncaster last time. Went like the best horse at the weights at Doncaster but was just picked off by a more patiently-ridden rival, so should be well suited by dropping in trip. Is on a good mark.

14. Celtic Art (Paul & Oliver Cole/ David Probert)
Won a maiden at Goodwood last year and ran well at the same course in a mile and a quarter handicap on his return in July. Didn't stay a mile and three-quarters in a Group 3 last time and this looks a more suitable test for this unexposed colt.

15. Majestic Dawn (Paul & Oliver Cole/ Paul Hanagan)
Front-runner who had a good three-year-old campaign last season, winning at Newbury and Nottingham and also finishing fifth in this. He didn't show a great deal on his reappearance at Kempton recently, however, and blinkers have been reached for.

16. Lucander (Ralph Beckett/ Harry Bentley)
Won three times last season and got back on the up with victory in a good mile and a quarter handicap at York last month, keeping on well under this rider to beat a few reopposing rivals. Has gone up just 4 lb and there could be more to come from him from a favourable high draw.

17. Anythingtoday (Roger Fell/ Ben Curtis)
Twice successful for David O'Meara last season and has been just as good without winning for Roger Fell this term, caught late on in a mile and a quarter handicap at York last time by one who came from further back. On the same mark here and wouldn't rule out a big run at a price.

18. Dubai Mirage (Saeed bin Suroor/ Stefano Cherchi (5))
Has progressed well in the main this term, winning an all-weather maiden and Haydock handicap over a mile before finishing a good third off this mark at Sandown last time. A 5 lb claimer has been enlisted and this unexposed three-year-old could take a hand.

19. You're Hired (Amanda Perrett/ Darragh Keenan (3))
Seven years old but has improved again this term, landing a mile and a quarter handicap here by 14 lengths on his return and running well under this rider (who can now claim) in a nine-furlong Goodwood apprentice handicap eight weeks ago. This is plenty tougher, however.

20. Walhaan (Ian Williams/ David Egan)
Twice a winner over seven furlongs in France in 2018 and he has shown useful form for this yard this season, finishing runner-up at Ascot on two occasions. Proved no match for Tempus last time, however, and this is obviously a much deeper race.

21. Good Birthday (Andrew Balding/ Martin Dwyer)
Enjoyed a good campaign last season, winning twice and finishing third in this off an 8 lb higher mark than the one he competes off on Saturday. Hasn't looked the most straightforward at times in 2020, though was an eye-catcher at Newbury last week and a big run could be forthcoming.

22. Mutafani (Grant Tuer/ William Cox (3))
Developed into a useful handicapper for Simon Crisford and ran well to finish runner-up at Chelmsford when last seen in November. It will take some performance to win this on his first start for a new yard, though.

23. Data Protection (William Muir/ Nicola Currie)
Has won handicaps on the July Course and at Sandown under this rider this summer and had excuses when down the field at Doncaster last time. Not one to write off at huge odds from a decent-looking draw.

24. Tulfarris (Charlie Fellowes/ Hayley Turner)
Has yet to win for this yard but has finished runner-up on four occasions, including in a minor event at Ascot on his return this month. More is required up in trip in this competitive contest and others are preferred.

25. Kryptos (John Berry/ Josephine Gordon)
Missed nearly three years after winning three handicaps at up to a mile in a highly productive campaign in 2017, but still retains a fair bit of his ability. Often proves keen, however, and he'll be a most surprising winner up in class.

26. Ilaraab (William Haggas/ Cieren Fallon)
Rapidly improving three-year-old who made it four wins on the spin when landing a mile and a quarter handicap at Newbury last week, quickening well inside the final furlong. Represents a leading yard and there is still more improvement to come.

27. Zhui Feng (Amanda Perrett/ Franny Norton)
Seven-year-old who is on a long losing run which stretches back to June 2018, but has posted some good efforts from his reduced mark this season. Was well held in this last year, however, and he doesn't appeal as a likely winner.

28. Balgair (Tom Clover/ Jimmy Quinn)
Bounced back to winning ways in the amateur riders' Cambridgeshire over course and distance last week, coming clear from off the strong pace. That highlighted his wellbeing but this is a much more competitive contest.

29. Wild Hero (Andrew Balding/ Adrian McCarthy)
Landed a seven-furlong maiden in July and produced better efforts in defeat back in handicaps the last twice. This is way tougher, however, and he is well out of the weights. Engaged in the 16:45 here on Friday.

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