Welcome terms for tax-free launch

The day which many punters imagined they would never live to see is now barely a month away, and a market has now been formed on the first big betting race of the tax-free era. There were 127 entries yesterday for the Cambridgeshire Handicap, and it seems certain that a maximum field of 40 runners will thunder down nine furlongs of Newmarket's Rowley Mile on 6 October, the day when there will be no deductions from bets on the high street for the first time in almost 40 years.

The day which many punters imagined they would never live to see is now barely a month away, and a market has now been formed on the first big betting race of the tax-free era. There were 127 entries yesterday for the Cambridgeshire Handicap, and it seems certain that a maximum field of 40 runners will thunder down nine furlongs of Newmarket's Rowley Mile on 6 October, the day when there will be no deductions from bets on the high street for the first time in almost 40 years.

The Tote, which sponsors the Cambridgeshire, will launch the new era by settling all each-way bets on the race, both ante-post and on the day itself, at one-third, rather than one-quarter, of the odds for a place in the first four. Their early favourite for the race is Sir Mark Prescott's Alphaeus, who has won both his outings this season and has been allotted 8st 7lb. Prescott, who has won the race twice before with Quinlan Terry (1988) and Pasternak, who landed a huge gamble in 1997, has also entered Foreign Affairs (9st 7lb), the winner of the Magnet Cup at York and the runner-up in last week's Ebor Handicap. Katy Nowaitee, last year's Cambridgeshire winner, is also among the initial entries, although she has failed to add to that success in three outings so far this year.

"It is her main target," Peter Harris, Katy Nowaitee's trainer, said yesterday. "She is always a bit free in her races, but providing they go a reasonable pace, she'll settle well, but if they don't go her pace, she decides she ought to be going a gear faster. They should go fast enough for her at Newmarket."

The second-favourite in the Tote's early betting is Smirk (12-1), who runs in the colours of Michael Tabor and was a close second in a competitive handicap at the Ebor meeting, while Halland, a three-year-old with just six races behind him, is a 14-1 chance. The colt, trained by Geoff Wragg, won a four-runner handicap at Newbury earlier this month, and was also successful with some cut in the ground at Yarmouth last season.

The Cambridgeshire was not the only valuable handicap to attract an extended list of entries yesterday, as no fewer than 180 sprinters, a new record for the race, are in contention for the Ayr Gold Cup on 22 September. Only 29 will be able to run, however, with the consolation for the next 29 in the list that they can run in the Silver Cup the previous day.

There were several discrepancies when the odds-compilers drew up their ante-post lists yesterday, one of the most notable concerning Sir Michael Stoute's Ghazal, who was the winner of a conditions race at Yarmouth last week. The Tote offer him at 8-1 favourite, but 16-1 is available with Coral, who rate Antonia Canova, who landed a gamble in the Great St Wilfred Handicap at Ripon last time out, their market leader.

David Nicholls, the country's leading trainer of sprint handicappers, won the Gold Cup last year with Bahamian Pirate, and he has 14 entries for the latest renewal including Continent and Undeterred, both of whom looked a little unfortunate in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood.

Tatling, bought recently out of Michael Bell's yard for 11,000 guineas, is also a possible runner.

"We got Tatling in July," Alex Greaves, Nicholls's wife and assistant, said yesterday, "but he has been gelded and has only just come back into work so we will have to play it by ear as far as he is concerned. We will run whatever we can in one or the other depending on the ground conditions. Most of them like it fast but some don't mind a bit of cut so we have a few options."

Scotland's richest Flat race has not been won by a Scottish-trained horse since Roman Warrior's success in 1975, but local trainers including Jim Goldie and Linda Perratt, whose yard is within sight of the course, are well represented. Goldie's Orientor heads the weights with 9st 12lb, but whether he will take his chance depends on his performance in his next race, the Group One Haydock Sprint Cup. "If he won, he'd have a penalty, and then we wouldn't have to think about Ayr," Goldie said yesterday. Perratt, meanwhile, has 16 entries, including Ho Leng (8st 3lb) and Get Stuck In (8st 4lb).

Darley closes title gap

Kevin Darley made further inroads into Kieren Fallon's lead in the jockeys' championship when completing a double on Hireath and Soba Jones at Catterick yesterday. The reigning champion has now ridden 113 winners during the confines of the Turf season – which determines the title race – and is only six adrift of Fallon who drew a blank from three rides.

Fallon gave up the mount on Open Warfare in the concluding Haweswater Handicap, but as he left the racecourse he said: "I will be all right tomorrow. I will be going to Salisbury and it looks as if I have some nice rides there."

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence