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

Willie Mullins
Willie Mullins sends out seven runners in this year's Cesarewitch
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Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Cesarewitch Handicap, and pick out their 1-2-3...

" This distance is much more like it..."

Timeform on Low Sun

1. SCOTLAND (Jonjo O'Neill/S.Crosse)
Third in Silver Cup at York in July and better than result when mid-field behind Muntahaa in Ebor there last time, unable to sustain effort. 3 lb lower here but no easy task on first start for new yard.

2. STARS OVER THE SEA (Ian Williams/Jim Crowley)
Not been with new yard for long, but better than ever when winning Cesarewitch Trial (handicap) last time by 10 lengths from Golden Spear, well-backed and dominating from an early stage. Only 4 lb (penalty) higher here but much harder to repeat such tactics in bigger field/more competitive race.

3. PRECIOUS RAMSTOWE (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori)
Won 1¼m handicap at Brighton from BHA mark of 88 (15 lb higher here) before following up in 1¾m Bronte Cup at York, both in May. Creditable fifth to Kitesurf in Prix de Pomone at Deauville last time.

4. WHISKEY SOUR (Willie Mullins/Adam Kirby)
Recorded four-timer--under both codes--last summer, including two wins at Galway (twice in four days). Fifth in Ascot Stakes (three and a quarter lengths behind Lagostovegas) in June and unlucky-in-running sixth to Muntahaa in Ebor last time. Probably vulnerable again from this BHA mark.

5. STRATUM (Willie Mullins/Robert Winston)
Landed a gamble when winning JLT Cup at Newbury (by three lengths from Kloud Gate) in July and effort best excused in Ebor last time, denied a run under two furlongs out, snatched up and unable to recover. Acts on any ground, and step back up in trip here will suit, so rates a leading contender.

6. TOP TUG (Alan King/Nicola Currie)
Second at Goodwood in May and not far off that in two of four starts since, including when one and a half lengths third to Duretto in listed race at Chester last time. Needs more off this mark, though.

7. LIMINI (Willie Mullins/Pierre-Charles Boudot)
Cheltenham Festival winner (2016) who was back from 503-day layoff when second at Galway in July (placed again there just four days later). Improved when winning valuable handicap at Leopardstown by head from Law Girl, digging deep inside final furlong. Respected from just 2 lb higher.

8. HERE AND NOW (Ralph Beckett/Harry Bentley)
Smart handicapper who dotted up at York (by five lengths from Davy's Dilemma) in August, and backed that effort up after just 10 days off when one and three quarter lengths fourth to Duretto at Chester last time. Step back up in trip here won't inconvenience and should go well once more.

9. FUN MAC (Hughie Morrison/Cameron Noble)
Second in Chester Cup (six lengths behind Magic Circle) in May and fourth to Stars Over The Sea last time, though looked hesitant under pressure. May need more help from the handicapper.

10. STARGAZER (Philip Kirby/Rossa Ryan)
Missed whole of 2017 but ability remains firmly intact judged on his efforts for new connections, seventh in Chester Cup in May. Possible Haydock run last month was needed but this tough.

11. SPEEDO BOY (Ian Williams/William Buick)
Bounced back from poor run at Ayr when winning at Ascot (by head from Alqamar) in July. Not seen to best effect but shaped well when one and a half lengths fifth of to Just In Time in Mallard Stakes at Doncaster last time, having to weave through. Longer trip here should suit and big run expected.

12. JUST IN TIME (Alan King/Martin Harley)
Fantastic strike-rate since going handicapping (won six of 10 starts), and defied further rise in weights when following up Goodwood win in 14-runner Mallard Stakes at Doncaster last time (by head from Austrian School, leading dying strides). 4 lb penalty not enough to prevent another bold bid.

13. LOW SUN (Willie Mullins/Seamie Heffernan)
Won at the Curragh (by two and a half lengths from Laws of Spin) in June and had excuses when well-held sixth to Astronomer at Bellewstown last time, dropped in trip and left poorly placed. This distance much more like it (23f hurdles winner in-between last two Flat runs). Leading contender.

14. SOUTHERN FRANCE (Aidan O'Brien/Donnacha O'Brien)
Missed two-year-old season but has improved with each run this term, chasing home stablemate Kew Gardens in Queen's Vase in June, and taking another step forward when third to same rival in St Leger at Doncaster last time. Should be suited by this trip, and one to take very seriously.

15. CLEONTE (Andrew Balding/Oisin Murphy)
Off the mark for the season--and value for extra--when winning at Ascot last time by three quarters of a length from Stars Over The Sea, rapid headway out wide early in straight. Remains of interest.

16. URADEL (Willie Mullins/William James Lee)
Won at Galway (by one and a half lengths from Limini) in July. Easy-to-back and not seen to best effect when fourth to Astronomer at Bellewstown last time, left with lot to do and racing from 14 lb higher mark over inadequate trip. Step back up in distance here will suit, and too early to write off.

17. KLOUD GATE (Gary Moore/Hector Crouch)
Second in JLT Cup at Newbury (three lengths behind Stratum) in July and creditable--albeit well-held--fifth to Lil Rockerfeller in 2½m handicap at Goodwood last time. Hasn't been with new yard long and no surprise to see him run well again, though overall profile suggests he's playing for a place.

18. COEUR DE LION (Alan King/Tom Marquand)
Series of solid efforts since winning at Southwell in February, including third in JLT Cup (three and a quarter lengths behind Stratum) in July. Excuses when fifth to Stars Over The Sea last time, left with too much to do, and each-way claims here once more.

19. UBER COOL (Jane Chapple-Hyam/Ray Dawson)
Improving handicapper who won at Haydock and Goodwood in May. Resumed progress (after being set stiff task in Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot) when winning at Yarmouth last time by neck from Elegiac, travelling smoothly and digging deep late on. Gutsy, but needs to improve again.

20. ROYAL RESERVE (Hayley Turner/Michael Bell)
Made it third time lucky for this yard when scoring by 5 lengths over 11.8f at Leicester in July. Essentially disappointed in 2 of his 3 starts since and expected to find a few too good again.

21. VIS A VIS (Neil Mulholland/Silvestre De Sousa)
Two out of two since joining current yard from France, winning at Sandown (by head from Dark Pearl) in June before following up at Kempton last time by two and three quarter lengths from Just In Time, making all. 8 lb higher, but form worked out well and no telling how much improvement is to come.

22. BLUE RAMBLER (Ian Williams/George Downing)
Suggested he retains ability when 6 lengths seventh of 9 at Goodwood (2m) last month. However, he's now an 8-y-o and others arrive with more pressing claims.

23. EYE OF THE STORM (Keith Dalgleish/Rowan Scott)
Has gone close on occasions this campaign but handicapper has proved slow to relent and others rate stronger, with his last win coming back in 2015.

24. STANLEY (Richard Hughes/Shane Kelly)
Proving consistent following his Salisbury success over 14f in May, placed all 3 starts, but suspicion he will prove vulnerable in this line up.

25. LAW GIRL (Willie Mullins/Jason Watson)
Spent last summer hurdling, but campaigned solely on the Flat since. Won minor event at Listowel in June and handicap at Gowran in August, and took another step forward when head second to Limini at Leopardstown last time, sticking to task. Stamina to prove, but respected from light weight.

26. MAKING MIRACLES (Mark Johnston/Joe Fanning)
Has always looked a strong stayer and back on the up under a positive ride at Haydock (14f) in July. Below par in Melrose Handicap the following month, but unlikely to stay down too long.

27. COEUR BLIMEY (Susan Gardner/Andrew Breslin)
Winning hurdler who hit the target at second attempt in this sphere at Chepstow (1¼m, heavy) in May. However, he's disappointed both outings subsequently and good deal to prove now.

28. THEGLASGOWWARRIOR (Jim Goldie/Jamie Gormley)
Won at Newcastle in January, Musselburgh and Hamilton in May, and Hamilton again in July. Better than ever when head third to Just In Time in Mallard and no surprise to see him go well once more.

29. MERI DEVIE (Willie Mullins/W.M. Lordan)
Smart winner at 20f over hurdles but largely disappointing under both codes in recent months, possibly amiss when heavily eased off at Killarney (14f) in August.

30. CLIFFS OF DOVER (Paul Nicholls/Meg Nicholls)
Won at Lingfield (twice) in March and Haydock (by 12 lengths) in August. Good two and a half lengths sixth to Just In Time in Mallard last time, left with plenty to do, and return to longer trip here will suit.

31. GOLDEN SPEAR (Tony Martin/John Egan)
Looked back in form when 10 lengths second to Stars Over The Sea last time, just left with too much to do. Fifth in this last year from same BHA mark and another bold showing expected at a big price.

32. NIGHT OF GLORY (Andrew Balding/William Cox)
Smart winner at 20f over hurdles but largely disappointing under both codes in recent months, possibly amiss when heavily eased off at Killarney (14f) in August.

33. ITS'AFREEBEE (Richard Spencer/Martin Dwyer)
Good jumper who landed back-to-back small field handicaps up to 2m in July. Didn't see 2m out so strongly on July Course in August though, and he may find competition too hot here.

34. MELINOE (Sir Mark Prescott Bt/Luke Morris)
Sound start to the campaign when placed in 14f handicaps in the spring. Likely her Newcastle run 10 days ago was needed and she's entitled to strip fitter.

35. GARBANZO (Ed Walker/Hollie Doyle)
Most progressive 3-y-o who completed a hat-trick in staying handicaps at Haydock (14f, soft) in September. Not seen to best effect back there last time but well worth a crack at this sort of trip.

36. DOMINATING (Mark Johnston/Reserve)
Lurks on a very tempting mark, but he's proved hit-and-miss this term. Produced one of his better efforts when second at Haydock (14f) 2 weeks ago. Reserve.

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