With just over £155,000 on offer to the winner of the Stewards’ Cup, this six-furlong contest is one of the most lucrative sprint handicaps on the horse racing calendar. Since 1993 the Stewards’ Cup has been run on the final day of the five-day Glorious Goodwood Festival and with twenty-plus runners entered each year it’s often a contest of hard-luck stories and fine margins.
In 2017, the Dean Ivory-trained Lancelot Du Lac gave the popular Italian jockey – Frankie Dettori – his second winner in the race and is back for more in 2018 – this eight-year-old will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner since Sky Diver in 1967-68.
There are also many Stewards’ Cup trends to take into the race. For example, in the last fifteen years we’ve seen fourteen winners aged six or younger, while ten of the last fifteen winners carried 9st1lb or less. In terms of the draw, it’s been the high numbers that have held sway in recent years – ten of the last thirteen successful horses came from a double-figure stall.
Our Stewards’ Cup Tips can help you find the winner of the race.
To help pin-point the winner of the 2018 Stewards’ Cup we are on-hand with some useful key trends and statistics – use these to find the best profiles of past winners.
There are always many trends to apply to each race but to keep things simple we’ve picked out five standout stats and applied these to the main 2018 Stewards’ Cup runners. We hope they help you find the winner, but if you fancy a horse we’ve not featured below then it might also help to apply our trends to that runner.
- 14 of the last 17 winners were aged five or younger
- 14 of the last 15 winners had raced at least three times that season
- 11 of the last 15 winners ran at Ascot, York or Newmarket last time out
- 10 of the last 15 winners carried 9st1lb or less in weight
- 10 of the last 13 winners came from a double-figure stall
Trends – Key Runners
Spring Loaded ❌❌✅❌✅
Foxtrot Lady ✅✅✅✅❌
Tis Marvellous ✅❌✅✅❌
George Bowen ❌✅❌❌✅
Silent Echo ✅✅✅✅✅
With Ryan Moore, who is looking for his first win in this race, booked to ride Spring Loaded then we can expect this Paul D’Arcy-trained six-year-old so be very popular in the betting. He heads here in form too, after running away with a Class Two Ascot Handicap by two lengths a few weeks ago and a six rise for that success looks fair. He was, however, only nineteenth in this race last year and is actually seven pounds higher this time. The trends suggest he’s also got a bit to prove as he falls down on three of our five main stats, with age (six), weight (9st 6lbs) and only having had two runs this season as the negatives. On a plus, draw 19 looks like being a plus with ten of the last thirteen winners hailing from a double-figure berth.
Owner Jeff Smith has done well in the Stewards’ Cup over the years, with Lochsong (1992) and Dancing Star (2016) past winners for his famous purple silks, and he looks to have another cracking chance this year with a horse called Foxtrot Lady. This three-year-old has risen up the handicap sprinting ranks this season with three wins from her last four races, and with age on her side there could be more to come. Yes, ten of the last fifteen winners of this race were aged four or five, but we have also had two three-year-old winners in the last three runnings. Okay, she only got home by a nose last time out at Newmarket but it’s worth pointing out the first two that day pulled three lengths clear of the rest of the field which gives the form a more solid look to it. A six pound rise makes life harder but being a three-year-old filly she gets allowances in the race which sees her around four pounds well-in based on her rating of 100. The trends suggest she’s got a big say too as she only has a negative against one of our five – that’s the draw. She’s drawn in stall nine, so some might think this is a against her with double-figure stalls holding the edge in recent years. Having said that, she’s right on the cusp of this stat and should still hopefully have a good option to go one way, or the other at the start of the race.
Tis Marvellous was thought better than a handicapper by connections last season, after running well in some top Group-class sprints. However, he just fell short at that level and after decent efforts (fifth and fourth) in competitive handicaps at Newmarket and Ascot recently looks primed to go well. A recent one length four in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot was a solid effort and despite being two pounds higher this time looks to have every chance. Quick ground and this six-furlong trip are ideal for him, but he does have two of our five trends against him. He’s another drawn low (5), plus, even though he was in action over in Dubai in February, as only had two runs this new turf season.
George Bowen is the next one to look at. This six-year-old gets in as joint top-weight (9st 6lbs) but connections are sticking with jockey Sebastian Woods, who claims a handy 5lbs and has built-up a cracking partnership with this horse. He’s also trained by Richard Fahey, who has trained one previous winner of this race (1998, Superior Premium). He’s up six pounds from his recent Hamilton success but won it by just under three lengths to suggest the rise in the handicap looks fair. He’s run four times at the track before and despite never winning here has run well each time, with a second here back in May his most recent solid effort at the course. However, a career-best will be needed off this rating and he’s another that does have a fair few of our trends against him. Age, weight and not having raced at York, Newmarket or Ascot last time out are the potential stats against him. On a plus, draw twelve and having had plenty of runs this season are the pluses for him based on our trends.
The six-year-old Growl was rated as high as 109 this time last season so his current mark of 99 gives him an obvious chance if bouncing back to form. He was also fourth in this race twelve months ago – only beaten one length – and that came off a ten-pound higher mark. He gets in this year with only 8st 13lbs, as opposed to 9st 3lbs last year, and is another from the Richard Fahey team that – as mentioned – have had success in this race in the past. He also gets the thumbs-up for four of our five key trends, with only his age (six) being a possible negative if you look back over the last fifteen runnings. Therefore, his dropping mark and being placed in the race before then he’s certainly one to consider and since 2010 we have actually seen two six-year-old winners land the prize.
Next-up is the horse that ticks ALL of our five trends – Silent Echo – so is certainly a horse to have on your radar. This Peter Hedger-trained four-year-old is closely-matched with several of these after running fifth in the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out. He was only beaten just over two lengths that day but has been dropped a few pounds by the handicapper and is now only three pounds higher than his last win. That success came just two starts ago at Windsor, but with twelve career runs there is every chance we’ve not seen the better of him. Draw eleven will give him options and even though his recent wins have been over six furlongs he’s also got winning form over seven, which could be a big asset up the long Goodwood straight. Those looking for something to cling to in order to oppose him might look at this being his first run at the track, as nine of the last fifteen winners had experienced the West Sussex venue before. However, with a clean-sweep in our trends he’s a horse that looks to have a lot going for him.
The final horse we’re going to take a look at is Gunmetal. Trainer David Baron has won this race twice in the past (1994 and 1996) so knows what’s required, and since this five-year-old has joined the yard from the Charles Hills camp he’s done extremely well. He won his first two starts for his new stable at Thirsk and Newmarket, then went onto run a solid third at the Curragh in a very competitive seventeen-runner handicap. He’s up five pounds from his last win but is another that have a lot of our stats on his side, with only having not raced at York, Newmarket or Ascot last time out as a possible negative. Draw thirteen will see him as another that’s got options at the start of the race, while he’s also got age (five) and weight (8st 12lbs) on his side.
Every Glorious Goodwood race covered live on ITV can be found on our Goodwood Tips page with runner by runner previews for each contest.