A total of 136 entries (an increase of 10 on the 2010 figure) have been received for the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup, run on the final day of Glorious Goodwood, Saturday, July 30.
The famous six-furlong handicap, which boasts a total prize fund of £100,000, has a safety limit of 28 but for the first time in 2011, the consolation race for horses which fail to make the final field, the £30,000 Bluesquare.com Stewards’ Sprint Handicap, will also take place on the same day, providing a fantastic double-header of sprint handicap action.
Richard Jaques, PR and Sponsorship Manager at Blue Square, commented: “Blue Square is delighted to continue the association with the historic Blue Square Stewards’ Cup, and this year to be part of this initiative to move the Stewards’ Cup ‘Consolation’ race, to be known going forward as the Bluesquare.com Stewards’ Sprint Handicap, to the first race on Saturday, July 30.
“This will be the fifth year of Blue Square’s sponsorship of the main race and we feel moving the Stewards’ Sprint to the Saturday will greatly enhance the afternoon’s card.
Blue Square customers will benefit from witnessing a race run over the same six-furlong course as the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup earlier in the day and can bet on the main race accordingly. We will, of course, be offering a variety of special markets on both races.”
Blue Square has opened a market on the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup and starts with three 10/1 co-favourites - Deacon Blues, Hoof It and Mac’s Power.
Deacon Blues recorded the biggest victory of his career when successful in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot on June 18 and is trained in Newmarket by James Fanshawe, who is also responsible for Mac’s Power.
Mac’s Power finished eighth in the same contest, when drawn on the seemingly unfavourable stands’ side.
Hoof It started favourite for the Wokingham, having previously won a competitive handicap at York in May, but could fare no better than seventh when he may have been unsuited by the easy underfoot conditions. He is trained by veteran handler Mick Easterby, who could also be represented by Ancient Cross (20/1 with Blue Square), winner of the competitive Gosforth Park Cup Handicap over five furlongs at Newcastle on June 24.
Last year, the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup was won by Evens And Odds (16/1), who handed a third victory in the race to his trainer David Nicholls and is one of 25 entries for the Thirsk handler in 2011.
Other leading contenders from the Nicholls stable include Joseph Henry (25/1) and Victoire de Lyphar (16/1), who fought out the finish of the Stewards’ Sprint Handicap in 2010, and the multiple Group race winner Tax Free (20/1).
A horse that can boast an excellent record at Goodwood is Humidor (25/1), trained at Whitsbury in Hampshire by George Baker. The four-year-old was successful over six furlongs at the course in a handicap in September, 2010 and again showed his liking for the venue when taking another handicap, this time over five furlongs, on April 30 this year.
Baker reported: “The Blue Square Stewards’ Cup is definitely a possible target for Humidor.
“He will go to Sandown on Saturday for the Group Three sprint and if all was to go well there, I am sure we will have to think about Goodwood. He has won on his two previous starts there so he obviously likes the course.
“We ideally need to rise a few pounds to have a chance of making the final line-up for the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup, so if he were to run well at Sandown on Saturday, we can hopefully sneak up a bit in the ratings.
“If he was to miss out on the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup, then the consolation Bluesquare.com Stewards’ Sprint Handicap is another race to consider.”
Other leading contenders include Pastoral Player (12/1), who finished third in the Wokingham Handicap and Scottish raider Hawkeyethenoo (12/1), who was last seen out when taking the Victoria Cup over seven furlongs at Ascot in May. Edinburgh Knight (14/1) recently showed his well-being with a handy success over six furlongs at Newcastle on June 25, while Dungannon (14/1) was triumphant at Doncaster earlier this month and looks open to further improvement.
Weights for the Blue Square Stewards’ Cup will be revealed on Wednesday, July 6.
BLUE SQUARE STEWARDS’ CUP - OPENING PRICES FROM THE SPONSOR
10/1 Deacon Blues, Hoof It, Mac’s Power; 12/1 Hawkeyethenoo, Pastoral Player; 14/1 Edinburgh Knight; Dungannon; 16/1 Waffle, Evens And Odds, Victoire de Lyphar, Swiss Cross, Addictive Dream, Dubai Media, Novellen Lad; 20/1 Tiddliwinks, Dafeef, Tajneed, Ancient Cross , Gramercy, Nasri, Lui Rei, Quest For Success, Medicean Man, Lexi’s Hero, Tax Free, Parisian Pyramid, Johannes, Fireback; 25/1 Jimmy Styles, High Standing, Rain Delayed, Bajan Tryst, Crown Choice, Colonel Mak, Fathsta, Kuanyao, Humidor, Silaah, Show Rainbow, Desert Law, Joseph Henry, R Woody, Secret Witness, Irish Heartbeat, Son of The Cat, Lutine Bell, Fitz Flyer, Racy, Kalk Bay; 33/1 Brave Prospector, Blue Jack , Prime Defender, Singeur, Mon Cadeaux, Cape To Rio, Global City, Beyond Desire, Advanced, Confessional, Noverre To Go, Favourite Girl, Sohraab; 40/1 Tamagin, Mister Hughie, Swilly Ferry, Mr David, Majestic Dubawi , Secret Asset, Edge Closer, Golden Desert, Five Star Junior; 50/1 Atlantic Sport.