Endless Acres will bid to give his 31-year-old Newmarket-based handler, Charlie Fellowes, a breakthrough big race success in the Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Saturday, 14th October.
Runner-up in the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, Endless Acres is one of 100 initial entries for this two and a quarter mile heritage handicap which boasts a remarkable total prize fund of no less than £250,000.
One of the least experienced horses among this century of contenders, Endless Acres has never been out of the first four in eight career starts but demonstrated at Ascot that he is well suited by an extreme test of stamina.
This valuable prize has regularly been plundered by National Hunt trainers, including twice in the last three years, and Alan King, who landed it in in 2015 with Grumeti, is again well represented with last year’s runner-up, First Mohican, leading a five-strong team.
Mark Johnston already has three Betfred Cesarewitch victories under his belt and is the British trainer with most entries, his sextet spearheaded by the evergreen Oriental Fox, touched off by Grumeti two years ago.
But the Johnston squadron is trumped by the 11-time Irish Champion Jumps Trainer, Willie Mullins, who has seven entries, including the last two winners of the Irish Cesarewitch, Laws Of Spin and Digeanta.
Tony Martin, the man responsible for the most recent Irish success in this race thanks to Leg Spinner in 2007, has four possible runners, while the remainder of a 16-strong Irish contingent features the first two home from the recent Galway Hurdle, Tigris River and Swamp Fox.
Charlie Fellowes, trainer of Endless Acres, said: “Endless Acres has been having a lovely time out in the paddock, I got him back in about three weeks ago and the plan is for him to go straight to the Betfred Cesarewitch without another run.”
“He had a hard race at Ascot on very quick ground and his owners then made the brave decision to give him a proper break.”
“He’s a May foal and is still very much an unfinished article. His sire, Champs Elysees, tends to get horses who like a bit of cut in the ground, so the Cesarewitch is an attractive proposition as we would be unlucky to encounter rock hard ground that late in the year.”
“He’s an easy horse to get fit and going straight there means that we can look after his handicap mark. It’s a very prestigious race with a lovely prize money pot.”
“He’s a very, very relaxed customer and I think it’s a matter of the more runners the better for him, as it might fire him up a bit. That’s why he wears a visor – he’s such a laid-back horse.”
“The Prix du Cadran [a French Group 1 race run on 30th September] closes today and I thought long and hard before deciding not to enter him, I just think it would be the wrong thing for the horse. We already know that he stays two and a half miles but I think that he will get quicker as he gets older, and if he improves next winter as much as he did last winter I hope that he will make up into a Cup horse next season.”