Friday, 31st July 2020
The Golden Mile takes centre stage for handicap punters on Day 4 (this afternoon) at Glorious Goodwood….
If you missed my thoughts on that race, you can soon catch up right here….
My thoughts have already turned to the final day of the meeting and the two big handicap races that will be run up the 6f straight
We’ve got the Stewards’ Cup at 3.35 and the Stewards’ Sprint Handicap (the consolation race for the former) a little earlier on the card at 1.50….
The prize money for the Stewards’ Cup doubled in 2015. That additional cash attracted better quality animals into the race….
The money isn’t quite the same this time around thanks to the COVID-19 effect, but it hasn’t affected the type of horse lining up and emerging trends should still be factored into your deliberations….
Each of the five winners since 2015 was officially rated 102+. Go back further and you find eight of the last nine winners of the race had a 3-figure rating....
Horses officially rated in the 90s are finding it harder in this race. There were plenty horses rated in the 90s in the 2018 edition of the race. But five of the first seven home were 100+ rated horses. That was from a total representation of just nine from the 26 runner-field....
It was a similar story last year. A field of 27 horses went to post. More than half the field (14 horses) were officially rated in the 90s. But six of the first eight home went to post with a three-figure rating….
There are other useful pointers to note....
William Haggas’ Nahaarr has got every chance of landing tomorrow’s Stewards’ Cup (3.35) for William Haggas….
But there’s nothing in his price tag for punters. He’s been well found following an eye-catching performance in the Silver Wokingham at Royal Ascot and his ready win at Newbury next time out in the bet365 Handicap….
Much more interesting is WATAN – the horse he beat 2-lengths on that last occasion….
The 4yo was having his first go for 378 days that day. He was also having his first go in handicap company and his first go for more than 18-months at the 6f trip. He was giving Nahaarr 9lb in weight too….
Tomorrow, with that seasonal reappearance under his belt, he gives the Haggas horse just 2lb and has Ryan Moore on his back – a man worth a couple of pounds of lead on any horse. The 16s about the Hannon horse seems generous to me. Very generous….
I’m also going to back Mick Channon’s BARBILL at 25s….
Like a lot of good juvenile horses, this one kind of disappeared off the radar as a 3yo. But he’s been gelded, he won well at Haydock off 92 in June and having rated as high as 103 he’s certainly no 25s shot in my book….
He’s got some good form on his record in Listed and G3 races. And he showed he can handle a big field event like tomorrow’s race when 5th in the 6f handicap for the 3yos at last year’s July meeting at Newmarket….
I reckon he’s a sprinter on the up and up and he’s off the radar here. I want to be with him at the price….
In the consolation race – the Stewards’ Sprint (1.50) – Jim Goldie’s PRIMO COMET is a big price at 25s for a horse that ran so well in last season’s renewal off a 3lb higher mark….
Last time at Pontefract he wasn’t so good. Too keen. But at least Paddy Mathers – who partners tomorrow – got a feel of the horse. The pairing can go better than the big price suggests….
Nick’s contrarian picks….
To recap on where my idea of the value lies tomorrow afternoon….
In the Stewards’ Sprint Handicap (1.50 @ Goodwood).
In the Stewards’ Cup (3.35 @ Goodwood).
That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.
That’s all from me for now....
I’ll be back next week with more handicap-focused insight, analysis, and intelligence. Stay tuned....
All the best.