Tony Calvin: My Dream Boat is a good looking bet for the Cambridgeshire

Tony has his eye on a 25/1 chance at Newmarket this weekend
Tony has his eye on a 25/1 chance at Newmarket this weekend

It's the Cambridgeshire Meeting at Newmarket this week and Tony Calvin has cast his eye across the antepost prices for the big races and added a runner to his portfolio...

"The trainer reports that the horse has come out of the York race really well, and Saturday's Cambridgeshire is the plan. He would be worried about fast ground, even if it was good to firm at Doncaster, but I don't see that being an issue given the forecast. I wouldn't be surprised to see him trade nearer half his current odds of 25/1 on Saturday, given his progressive profile."

Back My Dream Boat at 25/1 each way (Sportsbook)

I fully expected Cassells Rock to run a huge race at Newmarket on Saturday, and to be giving him a very positive mention for the Cesarewitch, in this column today.

And, for rather more different and unfortunate reasons than I anticipated, I still am, as he would still have a leading chance in the staying handicap at HQ on October 10 if given the green light.

The problem is that he was beaten 16 lengths at the weekend, and presumably now the Ces may be off the agenda. But if I knew that he was still going for the race, I'd steam full in at full-pelt to back him at 33s.

Saturday's race was a bit of embarrassment for me, in truth. I tipped it in my Saturday column here and on Racing UK on Friday evening saying, given his profile, the 7/1 chance could be a major gamble.

I got that part right as he went off at 7/2 - it was low as 5/2 on the opening show before a late 3.613/5 to 6.25/1 drift on the Exchange in the last five minutes - but in the race itself he was given one of the more sympathetic rides I can recall for a punted horse (well, it was very well-backed prior to the last five minutes, but these late market corrections are a common occurrence).

To their credit, the stewards inquired about what looked a pretty tame ride - go and take a look at the video - and the jockey said the horse had 'nothing more to give' after racing too freely.

I'm sure that is the case but to these eyes he near as damn it enhanced his Ces claims with the way he travelled through the race without being hit once - well, there was one mild flick of the whip about 2f out - and was allowed to come home into his own time. Quite literally.

This very well-handicapped horse would be of major interest if running in the race off 84, and, given the bottom weight ran off 80 last year, he may still get in and go for it. But it's a watching brief only until running plans become clear.

One thing is for sure. Having looked at the race in detail this morning, none of the other entries stand out as potential shorteners or enticing bets in a very crowded book - the layers aren't giving too much away given 30-odd will line up on the day - so I'm happy to sit this race out for now.


***


The first leg of the "Autumn Double" is at Newmarket on Saturday, and we are sitting prettily enough with our long-term recommendation on the Cambridgeshire, especially as three of the market leaders weren't even confirmed for the race on Monday.

Here is my ante-post advice on Saturday's Cambridgeshire from a few weeks back and I am more than happy with our position on Earth Drummer.

He remains a fair 16/1 poke with the Betfair Sportsbook, but there are other possible bets to be had in the race, and at this stage my eyes are drawn to a progressive type in My Dream Boat and one of my frustrating "cliff horses" in 33/1 chance You're Fired, who I think could both be well suited by the extra furlong.

But I have to side with My Dream Boat at 25/1 each-way with the Betfair Sportsbook, as I think he has the potential to be a fair bit shorter on the day.

Clive Cox has excelled with the horse this season since getting him from Donald McCain, officially improving him 25lb from a stable debut success at Doncaster in May to a highly impressive two-and-a-quarter length York victory last month.

Obviously, there was a price to pay for that York win, namely a 9lb rise in the weights, but given what the runner-up Hathal has done in the meantime it looks perfectly fair.

Sure, Hathal improved to win a competitive listed race last time - and plenty of others have come out of the York race and run poorly - but there is every reason to believe that My Dream Boat can take a similar step forward, too, as Cox has always thought highly of the horse.

The trainer reports that the horse has come out of the York race really well, and Saturday's Cambridgeshire is the plan. He would be worried about fast ground, even if it was good to firm at Doncaster, but I don't see that being an issue given the forecast (he said, with trepidation...)

I wouldn't be surprised to see him trade nearer half his current odds of 25/1 on Saturday, given his progressive profile. Bronze Angel, winner of this race in 2012 and 2014 and back in the winner's circle last time, is a worthy favourite, though.


***


There are a few other races priced up for the weekend already, including two on Friday's card Newmarket card.

But running plans are often very fluid for juveniles, in particular, so the Rockfel Stakes doesn't appeal at this stage.

And while the Joel Stakes is a fascinating contest with Juddmonte International disappointment Time Test heading the market at around 3.02/1, stepping back in trip, it is not a race I have a strong opinion on as it stands.

Shalaa unsurprisingly dominates the betting on the Middle Park, at 1.594/7, and I wouldn't be in a rush to take him on. But the improving Gimcrack winner Ajaya could be the each-ay play against him, and we will revisit that angle in Friday's column.

The other Saturday race priced up so far is the Cheveley Park Stakes. It has only attracted 10 entries but with Besharah, Illuminate and Lumiere among them it could be a cracking renewal if they all rock up.

But as a betting contest, it leaves me cold just now, so only the My Dream Boat punt this week.

Recommended Antepost Bet
Back My Dream Boat at 25/1 each way (Sportsbook)

Already Advised
Back Earth Drummer at 25/1 (Sportsbook)

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