Newmarket preview: Cambridgeshire Handicap (15.50)
This year’s renewal of the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket (15.50) is as ultra-competitive as ever and, with Coral paying five places, Educate looks decent each-way value in the 1m 1f contest.
The Ismail Mohammed trained gelding won the race in 2013 when holding on gamely to beat Code Of Honour by a short-head off a mark of 104.
Educate went on to post some solid efforts in Group races in Meydan at the beginning of last year off an official rating of 112, before posting an excellent effort when a 5 1/2 length ninth of 31 to Bronze Angel in this contest off 110.
The six-year-old now meets the winner on 17lb better terms, and that makes him look weighted to gain his revenge.
Educate also comes into the contest having posted some solid efforts this season, including when an excellent two length second to The Corsican in a Listed contest at Goodwood.
The winner is a very useful sort who has gone on to finish a cracking fourth to Free Eagle in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and is now rated 116 after landing a Group 3 at Newbury when last seen in action.
In the circumstances it was an excellent effort from Educate, who met the improving four-year-old on level terms, and it was a run which showed that he retained plenty of ability.
Educate is also now able to race off just 102, his lowest rating in over two years and 2lb lower than when last successful in this race.
It gives the son of Echo Of Light major claims from a handicapping perspective, and this will have undoubtedly have been Educate’s target all season.
There are plenty of dangers in a wide open affair, and Irish raider Portage looks a big player.
The Michael Halford trained colt has always been held in high regard, and got back to winning ways two starts back over 1m at Ascot when staying on strongly from off the pace to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths off a mark of 90.
Portage backed that up with a cracking second of 22 to Hint Of Tint in the Irish equivalent of this contest over 1m at the Curragh off a revised rating of 98, keeping on well to be beaten 1 3/4 lengths.
Judged on how Portage finished off the race the extra furlong in this should suit, and the son of Tefolio remains lightly-raced and open to further improvement after just six starts.
Coral’s top tip: Educate has been given a big chance by the handicapper and looks cracking each-way value given his excellent record in the race