Dancing Star and David Probert win the Qatar Stewards Cup at Goodwood. 30/7/2016 Pic Steve Davies/Racingfotos.com

Stewards’ Cup 2020 Preview: Recent Evidence Suggests Low Means Go

The Stewards’ Cup is one of those races that many punters will file under ‘impossible’ each year but as is often the case, Geegeez Gold can be used to narrow down the field significantly and highlight the best angles.

Low or High Draws In This Cavalry Charge?

As usual, pace and draw are going to be key here. Statistically speaking a low draw has been a huge advantage in 16+ runner 6f handicaps at Goodwood run on good to firm ground.

Goodwood Stewards' Cup Draw

Nine of the last thirteen qualifying races have been won by horses running from the lowest third of the draw whilst the middle and high draws have accounted for just two winners each. These win figures are backed up by place and PRB (percentage of rivals beaten) figures, admittedly less comprehensively, suggesting that we really want to concentrate on low drawn runners here.

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Digging deeper into the exact stalls successful runners have emerged from; stall 1 has been most successful with three winners whilst stalls 1-6 have provided nine of the thirteen winners from qualifying contests, despite stall 2 contributing none of those wins.

Detailed Goodwood Draw Stats

Relying on win figures only can sometimes be misleading, especially with small samples, so let’s look at the places. Again, the low stalls have dominated with thirty-three of the fifty-two placings going to horses drawn stall 12 or lower and twenty-three of those coming from the lowest seven stalls. Stall 1 has not only been most successful in terms of wins (three), it’s also seen the joint most placings alongside stall 3 (six).

So how well found are these low drawn winners and placers in the market? Nine stalls have produced an each way profit in these qualifying races and five of those were in the lowest seven stalls. Three of the four most profitable stalls were 7, 1 and 3, with stall 7 most profitable of all with an each way LSP of 20.75 and it’s interesting that all of that profit came from the place returns.

So to summarise, it’s not impossible to win from any draw (even stall 23 has a win) but it seems a big advantage for win and place purposes to be in the lowest seven stalls.

Extreme Rides Keep You Out Of Trouble

So what about pace?

Goodwood 6f Pace Stats

Backing front runners in qualifying races has been a profitable angle with an LSP of 3.00. The least profitable angle has been backing horses that race in mid division, they have produced an LSP of -72.00. This is likely to be down to those runners often being boxed in when the race develops with plenty of ground still to make up. Whereas those held up right at the back have more to do but get more options in choosing their path to progress. The place and draw heat map backs this up with most places coming from low drawn horses who either lead or are held up in the rear.

Stewards' Cup Pace Map

There is possible contested speed in this race.

Stewards' Cup 2020 Pace Map

The low drawn horses are likely to be led by Meraas, one of just two 3yos in the race . The classic generation have accounted for three of the last five winners of this race from just eleven runners and those winners all came from the lowest four stalls.

Aljady could take the higher drawn horses along. Meraas is drawn in stall 4 and his only defeat in four starts this season came on soft ground, which he certainly won’t encounter here. It’s worth noting that Call Me Ginger, who was 2nd to Meraas last time out, runs in the consolation race earlier in the card and a good run for him would be a strong pointer towards Meraas.

There are three runners drawn 7 or lower who are likely to be held up and they are Kimifive (1), Gulliver (3) and Venturous (7). Kimifive was 10th in this race last year off the same mark when drawn high, Gulliver was 6th last year from a low draw when rated 7lbs lower. Both will be ridden by talented claimers (Cieran Fallon and Angus Villiers respectively). Venturous ran in the consolation race last year and finished 2nd off a 4lb lower mark. His last two wins have come over 5f and he didn’t seem to quite see it out a year ago so could be vulnerable again for win purposes at least.

Hot Form Worth Following

Of the trio Kimifive appeals off the same mark as last year. His only run over this trip since last year’s race has worked out well when 2nd to Barbill.

Geegeez Future Form

The Geegeez Future Form indicator shows the 3rd and 4th have both won on their next starts whilst even the well beaten 5th, Sir Maximillian, ran very well in a tough York handicap up in trip. It’s worth noting that Barbill also runs in this race but he’s drawn in stall 21 which may compromise his chance.

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10 replies
  1. lawrence frampton
    lawrence frampton says:

    Atalanta’s Boy looks of interest. Notwithstanding pace and draw advantage he holds but he’s relatively unexposed, went up after his Windsor 2nd in order to get in at the foot of the weights, in form trainer based in West Sussex and trainer comments in Sporting Life trainer file said he’d be aimed at Summer 6f fast ground handicap and noted he went very well at Goodwood

    • samdarby
      samdarby says:

      I like Atalanta’s Boy too. The winner of his last race came out and finished 2nd next time (when posted wider than ideal) and the 4th won next time too (he reopposes here).

      Atalanta’s Boy should track Meraas from stall 5 and if low draws are favoured and they don’t go a crazy gallop you could see the pace holding up and both horses running well.

  2. Philip Talbot
    Philip Talbot says:

    At the prices (25/1 Atalanta’s Boy) you would think he’s the value. Can Kimifive stay out of trouble? He seems very attracted to it! And over this 6f he’s got less time to overcome it than in the 7f races he’s contested. If Cieran can get him out though, he’ll stay on.

  3. Fargoe
    Fargoe says:

    Mr. Lupton often wins on his 3rd start after a break. The handicapper has placed him on a lowly mark. The bigger the field the more this 7 year old relishes the challenge. PP at 50/1 seems like real value.

  4. Graham Eastwood
    Graham Eastwood says:

    Totally agree about Atalanta’s Boy decent jockey taking an extra 3lbs off as well

  5. spiritrising85
    spiritrising85 says:

    I am going for very small stakes e/w doubles stalls 1-7 in the stewards and consolation race. Very speculative but I feel it could pay off.

    • samdarby
      samdarby says:

      Just remember that in the Stewards’ stall 1 is on the far side of the course, in the consolation it is closer to the middle of the course because of the small field.

  6. Monsieurbernie
    Monsieurbernie says:

    stone of destiny 28/1, hills paying 7 places…. put line through last run, can track leaders then come late

  7. innercirclebet
    innercirclebet says:

    Hit the crossbar with Kimifive

    but 4 of the first 5 home were drawn 14 or higher inc the winner so the Low Means Go did not apply this time

    Can’t help but think Kimi wins from 19 or something

  8. innercirclebet
    innercirclebet says:

    Actually, across both races, I don’t think it was draw bias at all

    It was PACE bias. If you look at the results, the places are filled by hold up performers

    Consolation winner from 3
    Stewards runner up from 1
    Stewards winner from 17

    ALL held up for late run

    Front runners nowhere no matter the draw. Needs analysis

    Front end speed collapsed

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