By the time we reach Saturday, we should be on ground quick enough to do the Stewards’ Cup justice after the storms that hit Goodwood earlier in the week.
This historic £225,000, six-furlong dash has attracted another top field, with 93 horses being whittled down to 28 on Thursday morning. We’ve chipped away again and come up with these six, the ones we think are most likely to run huge races in one of the top betting events of the season.
The six-year-old will have to overcome his problems at the start, of that there’s no doubt, but those problems have only occurred lately and it would be foolish to think they’ll carry on forever.
Atalanta’s Boy ducked violently out of the traps at Epsom, losing all chance, and when doing it again at Windsor was pulled up by Thomas Greatrex.
Before that, this chap was doing as much as any to show us all what a top trainer David Menuisier is and if behaving this time can carry on his improvement.
Two key pieces of form are what make him stand out here at the weights. He showed plenty of speed to win a decent handicap last August, then began this season very well with another nice win. What’s best of all is that both of those successes were over this very course and distance and on the numbers, he can prove to be a well handicapped horse as long as he breaks well.
Trainer Kevin Ryan is having a great old time and let’s not forget that this six-year-old gelding has won four of his 14 races to date.
He’s capable of more, has a preference for six furlongs on any ground, is still improving overall and has the assistance of Oisin Murphy up top.
With form figures of 14141 this year for a perennially underrated trainer who excels with sprinters, Commanche Falls simply had to make this list.
Looking more closely at his profile, this is a four-year-old who is still getting better and already he has won seven of his 15 races.
He comes here on the back of an impressive victory in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup at Hamilton, strong form indeed, and a look at his speed figures suggests he should be able to cope comfortably with a 5lb rise for that latest success.
A son of Slade Power, this horse has done little but improve since his taking debut back in June 2019. Now switched from Ian Williams’ to Charlie Fellowes’ yard, this former Shadwell horse comes into the race on the back of an impressive success at Newcastle on Northumberland Plate Day.
Formerly campaigned over seven furlongs and a mile, Ejtilaab is clearly getting faster and that must be kept in mind although he does have to deal with an 8lb rise following his win at Gosforth Park.
If we ignore his first two runs, when he was very much still learning the game, Fresh comes into this with the most impressive profile of the lot.
Since those early appearances, he has run a close second to July Cup hero Starman and finished in the first two home on six occasions out of 8.
All of that reads very well of course, but it’s not as though he’s been able to fly under the radar. Following a win in May at Ascot and a second-placed finish in the Wokingham he is rated 99 and given his constant but relatively slow improvement, it may be that he’s simply not the best handicapped horse in the race.
Hugely overpriced in a first-time visor, Total Commitment represents a trainer in Simon Hogdson that many won’t know but his form overall does entitle him to run a huge race.
His wins and placed finishes have all been in less valuable races, but they include close thirds behind Desert Safari (ran well here earlier in the week) and Fresh which means he has the form to run well.
Commanche Falls will have been prepared perfectly for this race and appears to be capable of better than what he’s shown to this date.
James Fanshawe’s Fresh has an obvious chance, but despite being very likeable is arguably not the best weighted horse in the line-up and is a fairly prohibitive price in a competitive race.
A chance can be taken then on ATALANTA’S BOY. His best form comes over this track and trip, while he appears to be very well handicapped as long as he starts OK.