Well what a week its been, and today is another massive one with top notch action at both Glorious Goodwood and Galway once again.
Let’s get straight into the Grade 1 Nassau (3.15pm) at Goodwood, where the big question for many is whether Sky Lantern will stay 1m2f. Earlier this season I was at Windsor and Richard Hughes said he would have no worries about her over 1m4f, so the distance should be all right.
However, I think there are two in this race having a few quid on eachway.
First, Just the Judge has always been considered more of a filly for this distance than a mile, so in many ways everything she has done at that trip – including an Irish Guineas win – has been a bonus.
Of course she has ground to make up on Sky Lantern from the Coronation, but her price allows us to take the risk.
I am also going to have a few quid on Just Pretending, who was a cracking third in the Irish Oaks the other day. She’s not a bad filly and if the big guns do fail to get home she’ll run right to the line.
The Stewards’ Cup (3.50pm) is one of the oldest sprint handicaps in the calendar, founded in its present form as a six-furlong dash in 1840, and nowadays one of the most valuable; today’s edition, sponsored by Robins Farm Racing (the newly-founded Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani-backed training business of Olly Stevens in Chiddingfold, Surrey) offers prize money of £100,000.
It is also one of the most thrilling; the sight of what is nearly always a full field of 28 coming into view over the rise at the five-furlong marker before beginning the downhill charge to the line would quicken the most jaded of pulses. Today’s is the 172nd running.
The Stewards’ Cup was founded by Lord George Bentinck as a betting medium, and so it remains. Some monster punts have been attempted, and some even landed. The 2003 winner Patavellian was backed down to 4/1, the shortest-priced winner in the post-war period, and showed he had been something of a ‘good thing’ under 8st 11lb by winning the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye next time out.
Other winners to progress to top honours later in their careers include Lochsong, winner at 10/1 under 8st in 1992; Coastal Bluff, 10/1jf winner in 1996 under 8st 5lb, and Borderlescott, who also started at 10/1 in 2006, carrying 9st 5lb.
At a huge price I am going to take a chance with PRODIGALITY, who has raced twice at Goodwood before, finishing first and second.
He bounced back to form last time with a fourth at York behind Tropics, and good ground will be no problem. Ron Harris loves this sprinter and I’m going for an upset.
At Galway I am going to have a bit on course specialist Pintura in the feature Premier Handicap (3.10pm). He has topweight to carry which will be hard, but he loves heavy ground and Ballybrit. Those are two big plus points. Have a great day…and let’s hope we kick Paddy Power where it hurts once again. Yeeehaaa!