At first glance today’s 28 runner Robins Farm Racing Stewards’ Cup looks a wide-open sprint handicap in which a lucky pin is as good a guide to finding the winner of the 6f Heritage Handicap as the trusty form book, but as with many of these big field cavalry charges’ horses that have performed well in similar contests invariably do so again.
The race which hold the key to Goodwood’s historic speed test, first run in 1840, is Royal Ascot’s Wokingham Stakes in which the first three home take each other on once again. York Glory ran out an impressive winner on that occasion for today’s pilot Jamie Spencer but off a career-high mark of 109 will need to put up a Group class performance to follow up, although the 5-year-old has a potentially favourable draw in stall 4. Also occupying a low berth is 10-1 favourite Tropics (stall 6) and with the trail-blazing Dr Red Eye in 3 the consensus of opinion is that the closing action will take place on the far side.
Experience however says that trying to pre-empt any advantage is often wide of the mark and therefore the value may lie with the high numbers, and in particular the consistent Wokingham runner-up Shropshire in stall 21, available at a guaranteed 14-1 with bet365 who are paying on the first 5 home. The Charles Hills-trained son of Shamardal has been a model of consistency this season and ran creditably in this race last year, finishing eighth but beaten only a little over two lengths. The 5-year-old has the services of Ryan Moore for the first time and unless the draw proves a huge disadvantage should be bang there at the finish.
In such a competitive affair it may be wise to have a saver on one of the low drawn runners and one that has caught the eye recently is Jamie Osborne’s Face The Problem. James Doyle’s mount has not had the best of luck this season but if the gaps appear expect him to be finishing better than many and at the guaranteed 25-1 with Ladbrokes is definitely worth an interest.