German trainer Mario Hofer is launching a dual assault on the £160,000 Betfred Cambridgeshire (3.50pm) with Ideology and Combat Zone on course for the prestigious nine-furlong heritage handicap at Newmarket on Betfred Cambridgeshire Day, Saturday 24 September.
Ideology (8st 13lb), who was fifth in the 2009 Group Two Prix Eugene Adam for his former handler Andre Fabre, heads to Newmarket after taking sixth under Hofer’s daughter Stefanie in a valuable Baden-Baden handicap over nine furlongs on 3 September.
The five-year-old had previously posted a cosy three-quarter length success in an all-weather handicap over half a furlong further at Deauville on 2 August.
Combat Zone (9st 2lb) also boasts a good level of form on the continent, having recorded a pair of victories over a mile this season at Hamburg in July and at Longchamp in May.
The five-year-old makes a second appearance at Newmarket, having finished a close sixth on his debut for previous handler Saeed bin Suroor in a seven-furlong maiden on the July Course in 2008.
Hofer revealed: “Both horses are travelling over for the Betfred Cambridgeshire, with Tom Queally partnering Ideology and Terence Hellier riding Combat Zone. The owners were both keen to have a runner in a race like this and the horses look to be good candidates.
“Ideology won well at Deauville in August but I wasn’t surprised with the manner of his victory – he had previously had two bad races as he was stuck on the inside at Longchamp (2 July) and was drawn badly at Chantilly (21 June).
“I wasn’t happy with his latest start at Baden-Baden but he likes good ground and is at his best over nine or 10 furlongs, so I am hopeful that he can run better at Newmarket.
“Combat Zone also likes good ground but he raced keenly on his two previous starts. He should get a strong pace in a big field at Newmarket and I hope that he can travel into the race.
“German horses are always considered outsiders when they come to race in Britain but I hope that both of my horses can surprise a few people by running well.”
The only German raider to have won the Cambridgeshire is believed to be Scherz, who scored for owner/breeder Baron Mollendorf in 1854.
Betfred’s market for the Cambridgeshire, run at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course, is currently headed by the Jeremy Noseda-trained Dare To Dance, a winner of two of his three starts. However, connections face a nail-biting wait to see if he makes the final line-up for the Betfred Cambridgeshire, which has a safety limit of 35, as he currently stands at number 45 in the order of elimination.
A consolation race is staged at Newmarket the day before, Shadwell Day, Friday, 23 September, the £30,000 Standing For Success Handicap (Silver Cambridgeshire), for horses that miss the cut for the Betfred Cambridgeshire.
The three-day Cambridgeshire Meeting starts on Thursday, 22 September.