We have launched our ante-post betting market for the 2017 Cambridgeshire Handicap, which takes place at Newmarket on Saturday September 30th.
Bets have already been placed on the likes of Big Country, Qassem, Novoman, Victory Bond, El Hayem and Martyn Meade’s Chelsea Lad.
This race can be dated back to 1839, which is the same year that the Cesarewitch first took place at Headquarters. This immediately led to a new challenge for thoroughbreds – could they complete what would become known as the Autumn Double?
The Cambridgeshire Handicap is run over 1m 1f. It is a straight turf race, run on part of the course known as the Rowley Mile. Horses must be at least 3 years of age and the purse is £160,000.
Lanercost was the race’s first winner. The first genuinely high-profile winner did not really arrive until 1878, when the event was won by Isonomy. Sired by Sterling, the bay stallion was a late foal and was regarded as being a bit on the small side. His dam was Isola Bella. Isonomy also won the Gold Vase (1879), the Ascot Gold Cup (1879, 1880), the Goodwood Cup (1879), the Ebor Handicap (1879) and the Doncaster Cup (1879).
He died in 1891, although not before completing a very successful career as a sire in his own right. Two of his offspring became Triple Crown winners – Isinglass and Common. His progeny also includes Seabreeze, who was an exceptional filly.
Three years after Isonomy won the Cambridgeshire Handicap, another very good thoroughbred stepped into the winners enclosure. Foxhall was by King Alfonso and out of a dam called Jamaica.
He was an American bay stallion who completed the Autumn Double and won more besides. His four most important victories were the Grand Prix de Paris (1881), the Cesarewitch Handicap (1881), the Cambridgeshire Stakes (1881) and the Ascot Gold Cup (1882). However, he did not prove to be a success as a stud horse.
Bendigo won the 1883 Cambridgeshire Handicap renewal. Sired by Ben Battle and out of Hasty Girl, this British brown stallion won a whole host of other important fixtures, including the Lincolnshire Handicap (1885), the Hardwicke Stakes (1885), the Eclipse Stakes (1886), the Jubilee Stakes (1887) and the Champion Stakes (1887). Bendigo was a decent stud horse and sired 1,000 Guineas winner Black Cherry and Cherry Lass, who took the spoils in the Epsom Oaks.
The Mighty Halling
One of the best modern-day champions was the Cyril Humphries-bred Halling,which triumphed in 1994. Halling’s dam was Dance Machine, while his sire was Diesis (a winner of the Middle Park Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes in the early 1980s).
Trained by John Gosden and Saeed bin Suroor, Halling won well over a million dollars in prize-money and was a double winner of both the Eclipse Stakes and the International Stakes. The chestnut stallion was named European Champion Older Horse in 1996. Following his retirement, he became a stud horse at both Dalham Hall Stud and the Emirates Stud Farm.