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Uncle Bryn leads Cambridgeshire contenders

Ante-post favourite Uncle Bryn is one of 70 still in contention for the bet365 Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket.

John and Thady Gosden’s one-time Classic hope returned to winning form at Ascot at the start of the month, overcoming a 113-day absence to win on his first start since a gelding operation.

The three-year-old is the 5-1 favourite with Coral for Saturday’s famous nine-furlong handicap, which has a maximum field of 35 runners.

Anmaat is next best in the market after winning his last two starts for Owen Burrows – while Astro King, Irish Admiral and Royal Marine are also to the fore in the bookmakers’ lists.

Ropey Guest is a 66-1 chance for George Margarson at this stage, but the popular performer heads to Newmarket on the back of his first success in more than a year at Yarmouth last week.

The four-year-old has lined up for some ultra-competitive tests this term, including when beaten four and a half lengths in fifth by Uncle Bryn at Ascot on his penultimate run.

Ropey Guest has raced only up to a mile so far, but Margarson believes the extra furlong could suit.

He said: “This has been the plan since Ascot, when he wasn’t beaten far by the favourite.

“I thought the favourite looked like he might come on a bit for that run, but ours will too because he’s quite a lazy horse at home – hence his nickname Chubby.

“He just started to come back to himself after Ascot, and we were delighted to win last week. I don’t really know what he beat, but it was a class two handicap – so it wasn’t too bad.”

Ropey Guest has shown some of his best form with cut in the ground, but good going would not concern Margarson too much.

The Newmarket handler added: “We’ve had some rain here today and last night – and knowing the gallops, I’d say if we were racing today it would be good to soft ground.

“Going up to a mile and a furlong, good ground would be fine. We are obviously stepping up in trip, but (jockey) Tom (Queally) has been keen to try him over a mile and a quarter – and given his run at Yarmouth, it didn’t look like it would be a problem.”

Uncle Bryn goes on trial for Classic glory at Epsom

Uncle Bryn bids to continue John Gosden and Frankie Dettori’s recent domination of the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom.

The formidable combination have landed five of the last six runnings of the Listed contest, with high-class filly So Mi Dar and multiple Group One winner Cracksman among their winners.

Uncle Bryn, who is a general 20-1 chance for the Cazoo Derby back at Epsom on the first Saturday in June, will be making his turf debut on Tuesday following impressive all-weather wins at Kempton and Wolverhampton in the autumn.

Gosden, who now trains in partnership with son Thady, expects to have a clearer idea of what the son of Sea The Stars is capable of afterwards.

He said: “I’m very pleased with him. We looked at the this race and also the Classic Trial at Sandown on Friday, but that looks a very good race this year.

“We’ve chosen to go Listed in a race we’ve won before – and bearing in mind that his only runs have been on the all-weather, it will be something of a learning curve for him.”

Uncle Bryn’s eight rivals include the Aidan O’Brien-trained Hector De Maris.

The Ballydoyle handler saddled the last winner of the race in Cape Of Good Hope two seasons ago and appears to have another major contender on his hands in this Camelot colt, who impressed on his final juvenile start at Naas in November.

Pythagoras (left) is an exciting prospect for Richard Fahey
Pythagoras (left) is an exciting prospect for Richard Fahey (Tim Goode/PA)

Charlie Appleby and William Buick team up with runaway Kempton scorer Wirko, while Pythagoras bids for a fourth win from six starts for Richard Fahey.

The Sir Robert Ogden-owned youngster was last seen landing the Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract in October.

Fahey said: “It’s tough enough for him, carrying the penalty. He’s got to step up, but we’re happy with him.

“We’re a little bit worried about the quicker ground, but it looks like they’ve done a good job there.

“I think the trip will suit and as long as the ground is not too quick I’d be happy enough.”

Martyn Meade has high hopes for Technique
Martyn Meade has high hopes for Technique (Nigel French/PA)

Martyn Meade runs the only filly in the field in Technique, who faces a big step up in class after winning on her Wolverhampton debut.

“It’s a big step up for her, but she acquitted herself very well at Wolverhampton and is a very balanced filly,” said Meade.

“We had the option of either going into a novice or taking a big leap – and on her work at home, we thought let’s take a big leap.

“She could be the sort of horse that copes really well with Epsom.”