The annual cavalry charge that is the Stewards’ Cup takes place at Goodwood on Saturday and although we are unfortunately missing Wokingham protagonists Bacchus and Dreamfield, a near 30-strong line-up should provide plenty of quality and finding the winner once again will not be simple.
Luck in running is something every winner of this race needs, the betting no doubt changing dramatically over the course of Saturday morning and again after the Stewards’ Cup consolation race is run as punters ponder the various draw biases.
Here is an advance look at six strong contenders against the field:
One of the ante-post favourites for this race since landing a very strong handicap at Newmarket during the July meeting and looking to follow a familiar route to glory in this race for the family.
As a three-year-old filly she is naturally lightly raced and has more improvement to be uncovered by top class trainer Andrew Balding; conditions are in her favour and she is proven in the cut and thrust of valuable, large field handicaps.
Richard Fahey knows exactly how to prepare these types and his chances of winning have not gone unnoticed by the betting public.
Despite having run 45 times he is in the form of his life this season and has improved with pretty much every run so it’s not up to us to say he can’t improve again, however at six years of age one does get the feeling something less exposed will come out of the pack to deny him though his place chances are obvious.
The most interesting horse in the race. The four-year-old son of Royal Applause has been off the track since the end of November which in itself is a negative, however training techniques being what they are these days it would certainly not surprise me if he came back all guns blazing.
His last effort was a fine handicap win on the tapeta at Newcastle where he beat Tropics and aside from how impressive it was visually, a look back at what position Tropics was in at that point and what he went on to do shows that Glenamoy Lad’s 10lb rise in the handicap was well justified.
In fact, reading that race closely would suggest he could/should have been raised around a stone and with natural improvement to take into consideration this could potentially be one very well handicapped horse.
Drawn up the rail in 1, this could be another over-priced horse for John Bridger and he is one of few who has shown a liking for this track.
A fine win here in May and a cracking effort in the Dash at Epsom show him to be one of the more serious contenders, though both of those runs were over five furlongs. The fact that speed will be of the essence in this means the extra furlong doesn’t bother me much and he represents great each-way value.
His chances are obvious after showing up so well at Royal Ascot; Silent Echo running a 2½ length fifth to Baccus in the Wokingham which puts him in with a leading form chance here.
His run at the Royal meeting was only the 12th of his career and so assuming he didn’t have too hard a race there, more improvement can be expected from him in a scenario which should suit his running style.
Clive Cox famously knows how to ready a good sprinter and so a lot is expected of his charge here after a career-best fourth to Bacchus in the Wokingham.
Although his latest run was definitely the strongest of his career, it’s not to be forgotten that in fact he won a French Group 2 as a juvenile showing real class and speed and so his mark of 101 is not the thing that will stop him this time.
There is no doubt that Pettochside is over-priced and represents great each-way value, while of the obvious contenders the Clive Cox-trained Tis Marvellous seems to be the one with the biggest chance.
It’s simply too hard however to get away from how much weight GLENAMOY LAD may have in hand and so regardless of his 247-day track absence, the presence of Silvestre De Sousa in the saddle points to confidence and so at around the 20/1 mark he looks a terrific bet.