As usual and despite the massive drop in prize money this year, the Cesarewitch remains a massively competitive race.
A maximum field of 34 runners are set to go to post, and we’ve scrutinised every single one of them en route to finalising this shortlist of six candidates we feel have a great chance.
One of the bigger priced on the shortlist, William Knight’s grey won nicely over two miles on slightly soft ground at Lingfield last time out and did so in the style of a horse who still has more to give over marathon trips.
The son of Authorized was also a close-up fifth in a solid 2½-mile handicap at Goodwood the time before, and with Megan Nicholls taking off a more than handy 3lbs he has to be considered as a lively place prospect.
Coeur De Lion
While Alan King’s runner brings in solid 2020 form, having won the Ascot Stakes at the royal meeting over 2½ miles, most will remember even more fondly his Chester Cup rout from last season.
That terrific win was achieved on heavy ground and it’s to be expected that in the current conditions this seven-year-old can get back to something like his best under another very good claimer, Thore Hammer Hansen.
This horse is only a four-year-old, but he’s had the experience of ten races now and has proven to be very durable thus far.
All three of his wins have been achieved on good-to-soft ground, his latest being over two miles which bodes very well for this contest.
His profile is generally progressive and in Harry Bentley he has up top one of the better, most underrated jockeys around.
A former Aidan O’Brien runner ridden by Frankie Dettori is bound to attract some attention, or at least you’d think. At the time of writing however, Indianapolis hasn’t attracted too much support but that seems strange given his profile.
Last season, he reached his peak in October on soft ground and if he can do the same again having finished a decent third last time at Haydock, he may well be on course to outrun his handicap mark and thus will prove to be a force to be reckoned with.
The cat has been out of the bag for a while here, David Pipe’s Leoncavallo having been very strongly supported in advance of this race.
This year having transferred from Dr Richard Newland’s yard, the former Godolphin runner has reached a new peak on the flat and over hurdles too.
All in all, it’s clear he is in the form of his life and is almost certain to improve further, especially given the fact that he has shown a preference in the past for softer ground which he hasn’t quite had this season.
Even in such a busy race, it’s hard to envisage this horse not being in contention with half a mile to run and given that he looks well-in on the handicap, he may yet be able to put daylight between himself and his rivals going through the dip under Andrew Mullen.
There’s a little glamour here; an improving four-year-old trained by Mark Johnston, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed and ridden by Andrea Atzeni. Mondain’s inclusion on this list is nothing to do with that though, and everything to do with his form.
His peak as a three-year-old was achieved over two miles and over 1m6f on soft ground, leading to plenty of hope for him in this race, while last time out he was a comfortable winner 2m1½f at Ayr.
Mondain is more consistent than many Johnston runners and so there’s no reason to think he won’t put up his best performance.
There are so many variables in the Cesarewitch, from the number of runners to the ground, the pace and the draw, but these six have plenty going for them.
Indianapolis is probably the best each-way value at the time of writing, while Future Investment has a top chance if relative inexperience proves not to be a factor.
The one to focus on though given all the known information is LEONCAVALLO. Already in with a great shout on recent form, there remains the very strong likelihood that he is set to improve further now for David Pipe and with that he may prove to have plenty of weight in hand.