Run over a marathon trip of two miles and two furlongs, the Cesarewitch Handicap is a fantastic race on the track, but also a hugely competitive one in the betting ring, with a huge field expected. You can view the odds for the 2020 Cesarewitch Handicap here a little closer to the time.
Cesarewitch Handicap Tips
The Cesarewitch regularly proves to be an extremely tough puzzle to solve, and our tip for the 2020 renewal will appear here closer to the time.
What is the Cesarewitch Handicap?
The Cesarewitch is a Flat handicap race run over a trip of two miles and two furlongs at Newmarket racecourse in October of each year.
One of the oldest and most prestigious handicap races on the British calendar, the Cesarewitch forms part of the famous “Autumn Double” alongside the Cambridgeshire, and is held two weeks after its racing neighbour.
Traditionally, the Cesarewitch was held on Newmarket's Champions’ Day but it now takes place on the Saturday of the new Future Champions Festival at Newmarket - with Champions Day switched to Ascot.
What happened in the 2019 Cesarewitch Handicap?
It's no secret that National Hunt yards like targeting valuable staying handicap on the Flat, and Willie Mullins emerged victorious in this race for the second year running, courtesy of 25/1 chance Stratum.
Ridden by Jason Watson, Stratum made steady progress into the race and showed plenty of stamina to stay on well in difficult conditions and prevail by half a length, from the Anthony Mullins-trained Party Playboy in second, and the Mark Johnston-trained Summer Moon in third.
The race once again proved to be a difficult one for punters, as Buildmeupbuttercup, Great White Shark, Land Of Oz and Ranch Hand - who were all sent off at single-figure prices - failed to figure, while 13/2 shot Mr Everest was fifth.
It proved to be a fine weekend for Mullins, though, who landed the Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh the following day with Royal Illusion, and picked up the Munster National at Limerick to boot with Cabaret Queen.
Established all the way back in 1836, the Cesarewitch was named in honour of Tsesarevich Alexander of Russia after he reportedly donated £300 to the Jockey Club.
The race is the second half of the traditional autumn double (along with the Cambridgeshire), and during its long and varied history there have been three horses who have managed to win both races in the same season; Rosebery (1876), Foxhall (1881) and Plaisanterie (1885).
More recently we have seen the only horse ever to win the race twice, with Aaim To Prosper obliging in 2010 and 2012 for Brian Meehan. The second of his two wins was particularly special - as he carried a whopping 9st 10lb to victory - off a mark that was nearly two stone higher than for his first win two years before.
Who is the most iconic winner of the Cesarewitch Handicap?
Picking the most iconic winner of the Cesarewitch is a next to impossible job, given the vast roll of honour and the lack of multiple winners within it.
There certainly have been some memorable horses, including those three in the 19th century to complete the “Autumn Double”, and several more since then have also made long-lasting impressions on the racing public.
It is always great to see a top hurdler try his luck on the Flat, though, and the best example of that in recent memory is Landing Light, who famously won the Cesarewitch in 2003 for Nicky Henderson. The Irish-bred horse was good enough to win a Tote Gold Trophy at Newbury (now known as the Betfair Hurdle), a Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and a Christmas Hurdle at Kempton over timber before claiming the Cesarewitch as an eight-year-old under the great Pat Eddery.
In fact, only one horse older than Landing Light has won the race since 1974, with Caaracciola famously wining at the grand old age of 11 back in 2008 - another who was trained by Henderson.
Are there any trials for the Cesarewitch Handicap?
Contenders for the Cesarewitch can emerge from various races through the summer, with the majority of trainers and owners looking to keep their horses under the radar of the handicapper on the road to Newmarket.
Plots and gambles are commonplace in a race like this, with one example of that being Withhold, who landed a huge touch in 2017 when winning the race at 5/1 for Roger Charlton and owner Tony Bloom. The lightly-raced horse was given a pipe-opener at Newbury over a mile and a half prior to his Newmarket win - and that was clearly with a big handicap run in mind.
Who is the most successful jockey in the Cesarewitch Handicap?
Doug Smith is the jockey with the most wins in the Cesarewitch, with six wins in the race between 1939 and 1966. Smith tasted victory with Canatrice (1939), French Design (1954), Sandiacre (1957), Come to Daddy (1959), Alcove (1960) and Persian Lancer (1966) during his career.
Who is the most successful trainer in the Cesarewitch Handicap?
There are two trainers with four wins in the race; William Day and Matthew Dawson. Day saddled Haco (1853), Dulcibella (1860), Thalestris (1864) and Foxhall (1881) to win, while Dawson saw Lioness (1863), Julius (1867), Salvanos (1872) and Stone Clink (1886) claim glory.