Sprint handicaps don’t come much more competitive than the Coral Goodwood Stewards Cup (3:20).
One of the biggest betting races of the flat season. If ever a race perfectly fitted the description “cavalry charge” it’s the Stewards Cup with 28 runners charging down downhill towards the winning post.
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You can see why a bookmaker would want to sponsor the headline race of the final of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
Inside today’s main piece I look at the Stewards Cup and you’ll find my Goodwood placepot picks.
Coral Stewards' Cup (Heritage Handicap) – 6f
Looking at some of the key ten-year trends:
Seven of the last 10 winners of the race carried 9-1 or more so recent renewals have gone to a classy horse near the top of the weights
There’s a spread of winners across the age groups. Three 3-year-old’s have won the contest since 2012 with the oldest winner being the 7-year-old Lancelot Du Lac in 2017.
Despite the competitive nature of the race, it’s not been the worst race for punters. Favorites are 3 winners from 10 bets +7.5 4 placed in the past ten years. Meanwhile horse returned 12/1 or shorter are 7 winners from 57 bets +1.5 17 placed. The biggest priced winner of recent season was Lancelot Du Lac (25/1) and there have been two other winners returned 20/1 & 22/1. Those winners mean it’s still well worth having a bigger priced outsider on the shortlist that could outrun their odds.
The draw is well worth considering. Although winners have been spread right across the track. It seems best to be drawn either in the first four stalls or 15 or bigger. Four of the last ten winners were drawn in stalls 1 to 4 with the other six coming from those drawn 15 to 26.
The place to avoid as far the draw has been concerned are stalls 5 to 14 which have produced 0 winners from 89 bets 15 placed.
As ever in these sorts of races pace is a very important part of solving the puzzle. Looking at the pace maps for this year’s race it seems most of it is drawn middle to high which could swing the advantage to higher drawn horses.
The jockey’s drawn low would probably be best advised to take their medicine and head to the far rail. I have two on my shortlist drawn in the first four stalls.
Popmaster (3) and First Folio (4). The former ran a cracker to finish a ¾-length 2nd of 26 in the Wokingham Handicap. Now 3lb higher but in the mix. First Folio was a 3 ¾ length 6th of 26 in the Wokingham. He get’s a 4lb pull with Popmaster which wouldn’t normally be enough but he wasn’t as well placed in the middle of the track that day so you can markup that effort. Respected given he goes well on quick ground.
We have the last two winners of the race in Commanche Falls (2021) and Summerghand (2022). The latter is has become well handicapped and loves fast ground. However, he’s drawn in ‘no man’s land’ in stall 10 which has put me off my long term fancy.
Commanche Falls is 2lb higher than when winning 12 months ago. He made a good seasonal reappearance but then wasn’t suited by Epsom two starts back and then unseated his rider at the start in the Wokingham. This has likely been the plan and he should get a good tow into the race from stall 19. Ground totally different to last year but he goes on good to firm.
Others in the mix…
Whenthedealinsdone (25) caught the eye for this when a 2 ¾ length 7th of 20 to Mountain Peak at Ascot over 5f last time. He didn’t get the clearest of runs 1f out that day or would have finished closer.
Inver Park (15) has been in tremendous form since joining George Boughey winning twice over 6f at Windsor and Hamilton. He improved again to win the Buckingham Palace Handicap at Royal Ascot when stepped up to 7f last time. The drop back to 6f shouldn’t be an inconvenience and even with a 4lb rise in the weights he must enter calculations.
Regional (27) will be suited by a return to 6f after taking a bit too long to hit top gear when a head 2nd of 10 at Doncaster last time. Ryan Moore is an eye-catching jockey booking for the 4-year-old who is a on a winnable mark.
For the second day running we got to the final leg of the Goodwood placepot. It was frustrating to fall at the final hurdle again. Especially as the Friday’s placepot paid £1,337.30 to a £1 stake and we were on course for a decent pay out.
Well, there’s one final day to have a go at and here are my picks for Saturday’s placepot. As you might expect Saturday’s placepot will be the toughest of the week to land.
1:05 – Leg 1 – Classic
1:40 – Leg 2 – Lethal Levi and Treacherous
2:10 – Leg 3 – Bague D'Or and Red Flyer
2:45 – Leg 4 –Sea La Rosa and Forbearance
3:20 – Leg 5 – Inver Park, Regional, First Folio and Commanche Falls
3:55 – Leg 6 – Positive Impact and Koy Koy
Today its 64 bets – 1 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 4 x 2 = 64 bets. Once again, I have used 25p unit stakes, so my total stake on today is £16.
Good luck with your Saturday bets.