NAHAAR (3.35) has been topping ante-post lists for the Unibet Stewards’ Cup and is fancied to justify that market confidence on the final day of Glorious Goodwood.
William Haggas has stripped him to win five of his eight career starts and the colt comes into the race in rampant form. Nahaar laid down a solid marker when third to Chiefofchiefs in the Silver Wokingham Handicap and went on to beat Watan more than two lengths at Newbury 13 days ago, justifying strong market support in convincing fashion. Haggas has bagged this prize twice before and Nahaar looks sure to run a huge race, despite a potentially awkward draw in stall 19.
Khaadem became the third three-year-old in five years to win the race when landing a touch (4-1 fav) 12 months ago and Meraas will be fancied by many to further enhance that statistic. This big sprint has so far eluded Mark Johnston but there was plenty of confidence behind Merhaas when the improving three-year-old landed a gamble in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup at Hamilton 16 days ago.
Kimifive has a high cruising speed and will be suited by finding some cover in this big field. Joe Tuite has booked Cieren Fallon to take off 3lb and Kimifive, hampered on a couple of occasions when tenth last year, is one for each-way punters to consider, with William Hill offering seven places.
The opening Unibet Stewards’ Sprint may provide a pointer to the chances of Meraas in the big one as Jim Goldie’s Call Me Ginger chased him home at Hamilton. Goldie saddled popular Hawkeyethenoo to land the 2012 Stewards’ Cup and the Scot has a strong hand here as he also sends out a previous winner of this race in TOMMY G (1.50) and Primo’s Comet, third and fourth respectively 12 months ago from unfavourable high draws.
Tommy G ran a fine prep race at Ayr last time, finishing second to handicap snip Prompting (won yesterday), and races off a 6lb lower mark than 12 months ago. Tommy G won this handicap two years ago off an even higher rating under Silvestre De Sousa and SDS is booked again. If stall one isn’t a negative (Poyle Vinnie won last year from the same berth), it all points to Tommy G once again running a huge race.
ENBIHAAR (3.00) is banker material to repeat last year’s easy success in the Lillie Langtry Stakes.
John Gosden’s mare cruised into the lead under Crowley 12 months ago, crushing one of today’s principal rivals Manuela De Vega by an easy five lengths. Enbihaar was made favourite for her return to action at Newmarket but could never gets to grips with the front-runners. That was her first outing in 278 days and will have put her cherry-ripe for today.
Manuela De Vega has impressed since comeback, scoring twice in very pleasing fashion at Haydock on a soft surface, but if the track is riding slick it will favour Enbihaar. Aidan O’Brien’s Irish Oaks fifth Love and consistent Cabaletta don’t look good enough.
The 1m 6f Unibet Summer Handicap can fall to Sir Michael Stoute’s LAAFY (2.25), an easy Newbury winner on resumption before posting a solid second to Deja in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock.
Shailene, third last year, was given an indifferent ride at Newbury last time and should be thereabouts again along with in-form Calling The Wind.