The 2020 Stewards Cup is the highlight on the final day of the 2020 Qatar Goodwood Festival and this class 1 handicap has attracted a field of 28 runners.
You need to go back to 2004 to find the last winner of the Steward’s Cup that was rated lower than 95, which suggests it could be worth excluding from calculations the bottom 10 runners in the list.
Another noticeable statistic in the last eight years is that four winners have been drawn in the lowest four stalls, while three were drawn in the highest seven stalls. The other was drawn in stall 15 but, as that was the only one of the eight editions run on soft ground, it could be worth sticking with those drawn low or high. That’s a negative for the early market favourite Nahaarr who is boxed in stall-19.
Applying those strong statistics only leaves us with a shortlist of five horses. Gulliver is the highest rated of those on a mark of 107, which is 7lb higher than when sixth in the race last year. His jockey claims five pounds but it’s worrying that he was only fifth of the runners drawn in stalls 1-9 last year.
Mr Lupton is drawn in stall-24 and a mark of 101 is 9lb lower than when the 7-year-old won a weak Group 2 in May 2019. His jockey also takes 3lb off his back and he wasn’t disgraced when fourth in a Group 2 on his only previous start at Goodwood. He could go well at a big price.
Swindler is potentially well-handicapped on a mark of 96 and he looks to have been saved for this race after finishing fifth on seasonal debut at Newmarket. However, his two wins have come at Ascot and he needs to transfer his form to this very different track.
Lexington Dash has won off 79 and 89 this year but, after being beaten off 95 last time, he’s now on a mark of 97. Perhaps he’ll benefit from a longer break between his races, but this is a step up in class.
Our Steward’s Cup tip is Meraas, as high-class three-year-olds have won three of the last five editions. He is up 6lb in the handicap for his last win, but he beat two well-handicapped rivals. He’s also got the pace to exploit stall-4.
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