Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire horse race is one of the big handicap races of the flat racing season, usually held at the backend of September or early October.
The race is open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older and is run on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket over a distance of 1 mile and 1 furlong (1,811 metres).
It is the only major handicap race of the season run over this distance and as a consequence attracts plenty of horses that usually run over one mile and those who run over one mile furlongs.
There is usually a maximum field of 35 runners for the race as the prize money is very good it makes it a popular race for owners and trainers in which to run their horses, and often these horses are actually trained specifically for the race to not only win the substantial prize money on offer, but also to land significant gambles in the process.
Online bookmakers offer ‘ante post’ prices on horses to win the race weeks in advance of the actual race day in an attempt to stimulate activity. Online bookmakers want people to bet on these horses as often they may not even run, and in ‘ante post’ betting if your horse does not run on the actual day due to injury or its connections deciding not to run it in that particular race you simply lose your money.
On the positive side, the online bookmakers will offer exceptional odds - bigger than you would expect on the day – to entice customers to place a bet several weeks or days before the race is run.
This becomes attractive to owners of those horses who know, saving injury, that their horses will definitely run in the Cambridgeshire and that it has been trained specifically for the race.
Past winners of the race that have landed huge gambles include John Gosden’s Pipe Dreamer who eventually was returned as 5/1 favourite in 2007, while Pasternak landed huge bets of over £250,000 in 1997 when returned as 4/1 favourite. Halling won the race in 1994 and the following year ended up winning Group One races.
One of the more successful trainers in past years has been Jeremy Glover. He won the race 1989 with Rambo’s Hall and again with the same horse in 1992. He also won the race in 1996 with Clifton Fox.
Bookmakers offer plenty of special bets, promotions and free bets on this race for both existing and new customers. For instance, if you place your first bet with an online bookmaker on any horse in the Cambridgeshire you could get a free matched bet to use on another race.
Some betting companies will also give you your stake back to bet in another race if your selection (horse) comes 2nd to the favourite.
Online bookmakers also offer special promotions on the Cambridgeshire. For example, they can offer 10% added to an all correct forecast (selecting the first two in correct order) and 15% to an all correct tricast (selecting first three home in correct order).
You can also bet on the winning distance in the race, and where the winner will be drawn (high or low) as 35 horses will be racing over the 1 mile 1 furlong distance and online bookmakers are keen to offer their customers as many bets as possible on what is an ultra competitive event.
This year’s Cambridgeshire handicap is run on Saturday 24th September.