Saturday’s Horse Racing Tips: Tom Collins has four Newmarket selections to follow

13 October 2023

The Flat season might be drawing to a close, but Newmarket’s Cesarewitch card offers the perfect opportunity to maximise profits before the jumps action takes over.

Good to firm ground on the Rowley Mile turned to good to soft on Thursday afternoon and another 15 mm of rainfall is expected before racing begins on Saturday, so mudlovers are going to be the port of call. That doesn’t mean you should immediately discount those yet to run in testing conditions, but perhaps scrub a line through the quick ground types who made hay this summer.

Let’s start with the aforementioned Club Godolphin Cesarewitch Handicap (2.40), which features a maximum field of 34 runners. Deep ground and 2m2f are perfect ingredients for the out-and-out stayers, which is why the majority hail from jumps or dual purpose yards. Willie Mullins has won three of the last five renewals but doesn’t appear to have a major hand this time around.

Irish counterpart Gordon Elliott does, though, as he’s represented by Grade 2-winning hurdler Pied Piper, who had a nice warm-up around Killarney back in August with this race presumably in mind. Running off a mark of 96, 61lb lower than his jumps rating, you would think that this five-year-old is chucked in and surely the horse to beat. I don’t have any qualms with the latter point, but he’s definitely not as well handicapped as those numbers suggest.

Pied Piper made most of those flat starts for John and Thady Gosden early in his career and was far from prolific, winning just two of his 11 attempts for the leading training partnership. He was victorious in just one of his eight handicap starts and suffered numerous defeats off marks between 86 and 90. He might have improved since then, but two runs on the level for Elliott have seen him fail to get the job done and now he’s higher in the weights.

As expected with Ryan Moore booked, this horse is mighty short in the betting and he frankly represents very little value. I have him down as an 8/1-10/1 shot yet he’s currently best-priced 9/2 and might even get shorter. As a result, I have to take him on and I’ll do so with two very different types.

The first is Vino Victrix, who finished second in this race last year off a 2lb higher mark and has clearly been aimed here again. I like his recent prep run around Goodwood and firmly believe that he is trending in the right direction, though I’m a little concerned that the ground could get a bit too deep for him.

Nevertheless, he surged through with a late run 12 months ago and proved that day that he handles the course and distance, which is a question mark for most of this field. That’s enough to warrant a few quid at around 10/1. 

My other fancy is Wordsworth, who was an extremely high-class three-year-old for Aidan O’Brien back in 2021 when he finished third in the Irish Derby and second in the Grand Prix du Paris. He went off the boil last year and subsequently moved yards, firstly to Josh Halley before settling with David Pipe.

Pipe is a dab hand with juvenile hurdlers, especially those from flat backgrounds, and he seems to have rejuvenated this once Group 1-standard racer. A recent spin around Bangor showed that Wordsworth is enjoying his racing once again and, with 5lb claimer Christian Howarth taking off valuable weight, he is a very interesting runner as he reverts to the flat.

There’s a nice group of juveniles set to run on the card, which is obviously headlined by City Of Troy in the Dewhurst. I love this horse and hope he can maintain his unbeaten record, but he’s an extremely short price off a three-month absence and I’d rather watch with interest - I’m on antepost for the Derby! - rather than put some hard-earned money on him getting the job done.


Instead, I’ll place a wager on Ancient Wisdom justifying his market position in the opening Group 3 Autumn Stakes (1.25). This Dubawi colt cost a whopping €2million and will be high up Godolphin’s pecking order for next season’s Classics based on his pedigree and exploits this term. 

He looked exceptional on debut with a five-length score, before overcoming a tactical affair on the July Course second time up. Don’t be fooled by his latest defeat on a track that might not have suited as Ancient Wisdom bumped into two very nice types in Rosallion, who has won a Group 1 since, and Al Musmak, who took second in a Group 2 on his next outing. 

This step up to a mile is in his favour and Godolphin historically target their best two-year-old at this contest. They have won the race six times in the last seven years, including with the likes of Ghaiyyath (2017) and Coroebus (2021), and three of those victors have gone on to plunder a Group 1. 

Finally, I’m very interested in backing Fast Response in the closing Listed Boadicea Stakes (5.00). Trainer Karl Burke has booked Ryan Moore, who has only ever had eight rides for the stable, for a filly who is extremely ground dependant. The softer it gets the better her chance, and forecasts suggest she could be in luck on Saturday.

She had run at Listed or Group level all season and hit the crossbar numerous times, before finishing a highly creditable sixth in the Ayr Gold Cup last time under 7lb claimer Brandon Wilkie. Moore is a big upgrade in the saddle and this is undoubtedly the weakest field she’s faced this term.

Recommended Bets 

Ancient Wisdom (1.25 Newmarket) @ 2/1
Vino Victrix (2.40 Newmarket) @ 10/1
Wordsworth (2.40 Newmarket) @ 25/1
Fast Response (5.00 Newmarket) @ 9/4

Latest Horse Racing Odds

We use cookies to manage user login sessions, enhance user experience, perform essential site operations and tailor advertising and other content to reflect your specific interests. By clicking "I Accept" you consent to the use of cookies and similar technologies for the purposes we outline in our Cookie Policy.