Latest News:

Friday 29 July 2011

The Stewards Cup

The Stewards Cup is one of the highlights of the sprinting calendar and this years renewal looks a cracker with 28 runners set to go to the start. All the old favourites are in there and whether it be a slice of luck, the draw, the going or just plain class that wins the race we will know by 3.46pm tomorrow.

Macs Power takes the No 1 stall in the draw and will benefit from the fresh strip of the ground on the far side and James Fanshawe has had this to say about his chance in the last few days “He has come out of his latest run at Ascot well but I would have preferred a wet weather forecast rather than a dry one. He does like some give in the ground but they usually do a good job at Goodwood and he has some form on good to firm. As with all these big handicaps, everything can go right and then something goes wrong and you don’t win - you need an awful lot of luck for the equation to work out.” .

Hoof It deserves to be at the top of the handicap and favourite as he has won his races convincingly and they have a good draw in stall 18 sandwiched between Tajneed and Cape to Rio. Connections think he has a good chance and that he will act on the course and that this a stepping stone to Group races later in the season.

Edinburgh Knight could be an improving sort having only had 3 runs on the turf so far this season and his 3rd to Imperial Guest and Deacon Blues in May at Ascot beaten just half a length reads well. He won last time out at Newcastle quickening well to beat a Class 2 field and his trainer comments “I ran him back too quick at York because I wanted to get him in the Wokingham but it was a mistake I won't be making again," said the Newmarket handler. When he ran at Newcastle it showed he must be best fresh and he's going well. He's drawn 10 - the pace will be up the middle - and I wanted to be on the edge."

Pastoral Player was third in the other big summer sprint the Wokingham three lengths behind Deacon Blues and Waffle and Hughie Morrison summed up his chances as follows “I wanted an even number, which means you go in later, as he doesn't have a great reputation in the stalls, I'm happy to be on the wings. He ran a decent race at Newbury but maybe the drop back down to a big handicap from a stakes race might just suit him.It's worth a go as there aren't many £100,000 races around”

Colonel Mak is last seasons Ayr Silver Cup winner and he showed he was on the way back to form last time out when second to Quest for Success albeit he was beaten 1 ½ lengths by that rival. He is now only a pound higher than when he won at Ayr and Jamie Spencer has been booked by David Barron who was represented by Hitchens and Ingleby Lady in last years race.

At the start of the season Victoire De Lyphar would have been at the top of most people's list to win this but he didnt do very well in the Wokingham and his stable have had a spell in the doldrums, but that appears to be behind them now and we should expect an improved showing from him tomorrow as he is reported to have been working well at home and he is open to improvement.

Crown Choice won well at the course in May and connections have probably had this race in mind for a while, he ran a decent race in the Bunbury Cup too to finish 5th of 20 behind Brae Hill and he should be finishing to good effect and is a lively ew player.

Quest for Success also won well last time beating Colonel Mak and Fahey thinks ideally he would have preferred a little bit of rain for him, but he has booked top apprentice Lee Topliss who claims 3lb and lets hope he's not shouting “Your fired” after the race.

Kanaf is on a fair mark and he too won last time out and his trainer Ed Dunlop said recently “He won really well at Ascot and is another who will relish the fast ground, we came out early for the draw and opted to go stands side (in stall 20), but you want to be where the speed is and I was relieved to find that at least we have Nasri in our group. It's a lottery, but if you are not in you can't win."

Fathsta is another to consider with Silvester De Sousa up as he has finished 213 when on board and he seems to have the knack of getting the best out of him, that said he ran well last weekend for Tom Queally behind Hoof it when he finished 4th after not getting the clearest of passages through and he should run another solid race.
A very tricky and difficult race as you would expect for such a competitive handicap and you may get some clues re the draw from the consolation race earlier on the card. I am not going to plump for one horse and will stick with Kanaf, Colonel Mak and Fathsta each way.