Tiger Cliff heads maximum field of 34 for Saturday’s Cesarewitch
Ebor winner Tiger Cliff will carry joint-top weight with Orientor in Saturday’s Cesarewitch at Newmarket. Lady Cecil’s four-year-old is currently one of three co-favourites along with Smoky Hill and Pallasator following Thursday’s final declaration stage.
Whilst the draw can hardly be regarded as critical in a race over this extreme distance, a high draw for both Tiger Cliff (30) and Lieutenant Miller (32) does mean that they will need to get a decent position early on. Sir Mark Prescott’s Pallasator fared best of the leading fancies in stall 7 whilst French raider Smoky Hill starts from stall 14.
There were no significant withdrawals with a maximum field of 34 set to go to post. Rank outsiders Capellanus and Aleksandar are first and second reserve respectively.
Smoky Hill has been the subject of a sustained gamble after finishing fourth in a Group 3 race at Longchamp last time out. Trainer Mikel Delzangles believes that the grey is well handicapped and is confident that he has the stamina to make a bold bid on Saturday.
Irish hopes rest with in-form hurdler Domination who won the Cesarewitch Trial here last season. He is now racing off an 18lbs higher mark but has shown improved form over hurdles recently.
Platinum is one of the most progressive horses in the race and is on a four-timer after scoring well at Haydock last month. Brockwell and Big Easy are others to have attracted each-way support over the past week although neither horse has won in the past 12 months.
Nicky Henderson is better known for his exploits as leading National Hunt trainer but has won the Cesarewitch twice before and is doubly represented this year. Ryan Moore takes the ride on the consistent Lieutenant Miller with Richard Hughes partnering Earth Amber.
Big-race specialist Johnny Murtagh is re-united with Trial winner Oriental Fox for Mark Johnston who also saddles Broxbourne and Scatter Dice. The race is due off at 3.50 on Saturday and will be covered live by Channel 4.