The most frantic race of Glorious Goodwood, the Stewards’ Cup, will ensure the final day of the festival peaks in a hugely exciting fashion. A huge line of horses will be steaming towards the finishing post in this sprint race and there will likely be little to separate them.
This race dates back to 1840 and was devised by Lord George Bentinck, a prolific racehorse owner who had stables in Goodwood and was a close friend of the Duke of Richmond. The name relates to the awarding of the trophy to the winner by the course’s senior steward.
Next Race: TBD
The next renewal of this race has not been scheduled yet. We will update this once the schedule has been released for next season. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
Last Run: 1st August 2020
- Winner: Summerghand
- SP: 22/1
- Trainer: David O'Meara
- Jockey: Daniel Tudhope
It is a trip of six furlongs for this Class 2 Heritage Handicap which takes place on the final day of the Glorious Goodwood Festival. The race offers £75,000 in total prize money this year, with the ground at the track currently described as good.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Good||6f||Class 2||£75,000||28 Runners||1/4 1-4|
Stewards’ Cup Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from 2020. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
With 180 years of history behind it, this is one handicap on the racing calendar which truly lives up to its “heritage” billing. Open to all runners aged three and above, the older horses have tended to dominate over the years, but recent editions have seen a swing towards the younger challengers, with a three year old coming out on top in three of the past five editions.
Having each registered two previous wins in the race, David Barron and William Haggas are the most successful of the trainers on show this year. Haggas sends out the current market leader, Nahaarr, whilst Barron relies on outsider, Venturous.
The past 10 editions of the race have seen three winners return an SP of 20/1 or greater, but also four winning favourites or joint favourites – handing supporters of the market leader a level stakes profit of an impressive £11.25.
|Nahaarr||9/2||9st 3lbs||William Haggas||Tom Marquand|
|Meraas||9/1||9st 1lb||Mark Johnston||Joe Fanning|
|Hey Jonesy||14/1||9st 6lbs||Kevin Ryan||Kevin Stott|
Nahaarr – 9/2
As mentioned, it is the William Haggas-trained Nahaarr who currently heads the betting for the 2020 edition, and the four year old would look to boast solid claims of handing his trainer a first victory in the contest since saddling Rex Imperator to victory in 2013.
Unraced as a two year old, Nahaarr burst out of the traps to win his first four starts at three, including two successes over this trip, and two at seven furlongs, before then slightly disappointing in his final start of the season at Newmarket. He has taken a little while to come to the boil this term, but having improved from his first run to his second, he then posted a career best performance to land a handicap over this trip at Newbury last time out – looking value for more than the two and a quarter length winning margin.
A seven pound rise in the handicap doesn’t look too harsh, particularly as he can be expected to take another step forward for what is likely his major target of the season. There are positives on the pedigree front too, with his sire Dark Angel having been responsible for 2019 winner Khaadem. Like everything else in this big field, he will need luck in running, but he seems likely to go very well under Tom Marquand.
Meraas – 9/1
Having claimed the Glorious Goodwood top trainer title on no fewer than 13 occasions, it is a little surprising to learn that Mark Johnston is yet to win the meetings most famous handicap. Bidding to change all that in 2020 is the Oasis Dream colt, Meraas. As one of only two three year olds in the field, this one may be a little behind his rivals physically, but on the plus side he is far more open to improvement.
Much like Nahaarr, Meraas was also unraced at two, but has made a flying start to life as a three year old. In five outings so far this season, he has come home in front on three occasions, with all three of those wins coming at this trip. Other than looking a little inexperienced when second on debut, and then failing to handle the soft ground two starts back at Newmarket, he has been just about foot perfect to date, and may well have a good deal more to come on what will be just his fourth start in handicap company. Last sighted forging clear to land the Scottish version of this race at Hamilton, he gets a six pound hike for that effort here, but that may not be enough to stop him at least going close.
Hey Jonesy – 14/1
Another trainer seeking a first win in this race is Yorkshire based Kevin Ryan. Ryan is enjoying an excellent season already this year – bagging a big race double at Royal Ascot – and, given his solid record with sprinters, is a man not to be dismissed lightly in events such as this.
Flying the flag for the Ryan operation this year is the runner responsible for one of those wins at the Royal meeting: Hey Jonesy. Now five years old, this son of Excelebration actually ran twice at this season’s Royal Ascot, bombing out completely in the Buckingham Palace Handicap before improving out of all recognition to land the Wokingham just four days later. There was however a legitimate reason for that, as the gelding – who can struggle for concentration – was revitalised by the application of first-time blinkers for that Wokingham success. He’s up five pounds for that, but a mark of 104 still puts him six pounds below his career high rating and, with the headgear being reached for once again, he can make a bold bid under regular rider Kevin Stott.
Stewards’ Cup Winners
|2020||Summerghand||22/1||David O'Meara||Daniel Tudhope|
|2019||Khaadem||4/1||Charles Hills||Jim Crowley|
|2018||Gifted Master||20/1||Hugo Palmer||Jason Watson|
|2017||Lancelot Du Lac||25/1||Dean Ivory||Frankie Dettori|
|2016||Dancing Star||9/2||Andrew Balding||David Probert|
|2015||Magical Memory||6/1||Charles Hill||Frankie Dettori|
|2014||Intrinsic||6/1||Robert Cowell||Richard Hughes|
|2013||Rex Imperator||12/1||William Haggas||Neil Callan|
|2012||Hawkeyethenoo||9/1||Jim Goldie||Graham Lee|
|2011||Hoof It||13/2||Michael Easterby||Kieren Fallon|
About the Stewards Cup: The Glorious Goodwood Final Day Dash
Very much one for the punters, the Stewards’ Cup is the big betting occasion on the final day of Glorious Goodwood. Big odds are always available in this six furlong contest that regularly attracts upwards of 24 runners. Rarely a short price favourite in sight, it provides gamblers with a fantastic opportunity to secure a big scoop as the five day festival nears a close. Outside of a betting perspective, the Stewards’ Cup is no less important either as it is well recognised as being one of the top sprint handicaps on the continent.
During the 1830s, the senior steward at Goodwood Racecourse had the authority to hand an annual cup to the winner of any race. The event selected would vary year on year but in 1839, Lord George Bentinck, came up with an idea of having a perpetual race for the Stewards’ Cup. The following summer the new race emerged and it’s been a regular feature at Goodwood ever since with any horse aged three years and older able to take part.
FAVOURITES FARE SURPRISING WELL
With more than 20 rivals to face year on year, favourites of this race are really up against it. Often the handicappers punish those in form and how horses cope with the extra weight can be hard to judge in a race of such fine margins. Considering the unpredictable nature the contest, the bookies have done exceptionally well when it comes to picking out the winner. Since 2003, a surprisingly high number of runners have come from the top three in the betting as you can see from the graph below.
The success of horses further up the betting helps makes this race a little easier to call but don’t think that this means decent returns are not available. In the time period we’re looking at, the shortest priced winner was Patavellian (2003) who set off at a far from terrible price of 4/1. The average starting price of winners is much higher than this of course, coming it at around 12/1. Although this is perhaps a little lower than you might expect for such a competitive handicap, it’s more than big enough for punters to record a tidy profit.
DON’T IGNORE THE DRAW
Although there are no bends to navigate during this short six furlong race, a straight track doesn’t mean a complete absence of bias. Stats over the last 30 years indicate that there is a slight, but real advantage from a low draw, starting near the far side rail. It could be that conditions are more favourable here or it could be that having horses between you and the stand side of you helps maintain the pace. Historically, horses starting from stalls are between 1 and 4 inclusive have significantly outperformed the rest, with the four stall to the outside of this group, 5 to 8 inclusive, being the worst with no wins in this period.
AN INCREASINGLY IMPOSSIBLE DOUBLE
Over the years, many Stewards’ Cup champions have returned to Goodwood seeking more success in this lucrative handicap. It’s been an incredibly long time since one has succeeded though, with Rex Imperator perhaps highlighting best how difficult a double win is. The then William Haggas-trained horse won the race in 2003 but wound up stone last 12 months later despite only setting off rated four pounds higher. Although this is rather an extreme example, former champions rarely come close in future attempts. It’s been over 50 years since we last witnessed a double winner and it could be a long time before the drought ends.
You can see the five horses who have accomplished the incredible testing double below.
DOUBLE WINNERS OF THE STEWARDS’ CUP
|Horse||Trainer||First Win||Second Win|
|Sky Diver||P. Payne-Gallway||1967||1968|
|Lord Annandale||M. D. Waugh||1913||1914 (dead-heat)|
|Golden Rod||S. Pickering||1910||1912|