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Horse Racing: What A Shout

It's the bet365 Cambridgeshire at Newmarket on Saturday afternoon and the What A Shout team have been looking ahead to the big handicap.

Host Dave Orton was joined by Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway and bet365's Pat Cooney to preview the weekend's big races from Newmarket on Saturday afternoon.

Follow all the UK and Irish action via our Sports Live Streaming platform as we pick out some of the best bits from this week's What A Shout in association with bet365.

Flying Honours for Appleby in Royal Lodge

The opening contest at Headquarters on Saturday is the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes (1.50) over the mile and a field of just four runners are set to contest the prize.

Charlie Appleby's Flying Honours is 4/7 to oblige once more under William Buick having won the Listed Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury last month, while Irish raider Greenland is 10/3 for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore on the back of his win in a lesser contest at Roscommon in August.

Mark and Charlie Johnston's Dubai Mile is 10/1 after making all for a Kempton novice win over this trip recently and The Foxes at 7/1 for Andrew Balding makes it a full house of last-time-out winners having won a decent maiden at Glorious Goodwood in July from a pair of next-time-out winners.

Graeme Rodway expects Flying Honours to give Appleby his first win in the race, though he has reservations about the overall quality on show.

"Flying Honours sets quite a high standard, he's got a Racing Post Rating (RPR) of 107, but that would have only been good enough to win one of the last ten renewals," says the Racing Post tipster.

"If you look at the horses against him, nothing has bettered 100 yet. Usually to win this you need to be around the 110-112 RPR mark. [They've] got to improve at least a stone.

"The favourite should win, but he's not a working man's price."

Take a Swing at the Cheveley Park

The first Group 1 of the afternoon at HQ is the Cheveley Park Stakes (2.25) over six-furlongs and the fillies' contest has drawn a more respectable field of 10 runners.

Aidan O'Brien's Meditate at 2/1 and the Richard Hannon-trained Trillium at 5/2 are set to spearhead the market.

The latter is 3-4 already and won the Flying Childers over 5f at Doncaster this month, while she also has winning form at this distance.

Meditate, a filly by No Nay Never, won the Albany at Royal Ascot in June over this trip and bagged a 7f Curragh Group 2 in August before being mown down late by the outstanding prospect Tahiyra on Irish Champions Weekend in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes – again over 7f.

She drops in trip now and that could easily be the best form on offer. Fellow Irish raider Treasure Trove is 10/1 for Paddy Twomey, while Lezoo is 6/1 for Ralph Beckett and William Buick and re-engages with her conqueror here in July, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Duchess Of Cambridge winner Mawj at 14/1.

Pat Cooney believes last month's Lowther winner Swingalong is perhaps being overlooked at 7/1 in the market.

"For me I was looking at the value in the race and I thought ordinarily, whatever wins the Lowther at York in August comes here with a leading formbook chance and that was Swingalong at 25/1 for Karl Burke," he said.

"I always think when a horse wins at that price [people think] they can't take that form seriously. She did win and she can come to this race [at a decent price] and I'm looking at her as the value alternative."

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Force to reckon with in Middle Park

A second helping of elite action comes via the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes (3.00) over the same six-furlong trip and a field of eight are headed by last month's Prix Morny winner Blackbeard, at 11/4 for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore. He has won five out of seven starts so far, including a hat-trick at Group-race level. 

Karl Burke saddles 2/1 Marshman, 2-2 before last month's Gimcrack second at York, while last-time-out Group 3 Sirenia Stakes winner Mischief Magic is 7/2 for the Charlie Appleby and William Buick power combo.

With the likes of 11/2 Persian Force for Richard Hannon – second behind Blackbeard in France last time – and James Ferguson's once-raced Yarmouth novice winner Zoology at 12/1 adding plenty intrigue, it's a fascinating contest on paper.

Graeme Rodway likes the chances of Persian Force reversing past form with Blackbeard.

"I thought the key piece of form was the Prix Morny, which Blackbeard won, Persian Force was second and The Antarctic was third. They all line up again," he says.

"Blackbeard – I thought he maybe got the run of the race that day at Deauville. Persian Force came from behind, caught him up nicely and was beaten a half a length. I think he has a legitimate chance of reversing the form."

High draw key for Cambridgeshire

Closing out this week's big-race previews on What A Shout was of course the bet365 Cambridgeshire (3.40), the race giving its name to Newmarket's three-day meeting and the first of the major autumn handicaps at the track.

As always, there is a bumper turnout with no fewer than 29 runners declared on Thursday morning and, as race sponsors, bet365 are paying enhanced each-way terms on the first six home.

Mujtaba at 4/1 looks likely to start favourite for William Haggas and Jim Crowley after his Doncaster win this month, though stablemate Protagonist at 7/1 and Ryan Moore's mount, 8/1 Savvy Victory, could yet challenge for that distinction.

Pat Cooney suggests the market is favouring horses drawn high, with the last six winners in stall 20 or higher – stats that count against both Mujtaba (16) and Protagonist (3). Pat's pick is 12/1 Jimi Hendrix from stall 28 for Ralph Beckett and Rob Hornby.

"I'm basing it on overall form but you get a huge plus if you've got a high draw and Jimi Hendrix has stall 28. His draw last time at Goodwood was terrible and he finished last, pretend that didn't happen," he said.

"He's a progressive three-year-old, he's got a great draw and I would rather be backing him at the prices than anything else."

Graeme Rodway, meanwhile, is on the side of Bell Rock at 16/1 for Andrew Balding and Callum Hutchinson coming out of stall 19.

"I think he's rock solid," says the Racing Post ace. "He will definitely run well. He was behind Mujtaba at Donny last time, but he's building up to something I think and he's on a career-low mark now. He runs his best races at Newmarket as well."

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