Muthmir stands out in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood today – and don’t be put off by his draw.
The first three home in last year’s event, and in the consolation race earlier on the card, were drawn in the twenties, but that 2013 statistic is misleading. In the previous four years, not one placed horse was drawn in the twenties, all eight races dominated by those berthed middle to low.
Muthmir (3.50 Goodwood), drawn two, looked well up to this task when brushing aside a good field at York last weekend. Surely a Group winner of the future, the four-year-old is trained by William Haggas, whose Rex Imperator was a quite spectacular winner of this sprint last year. The top weight is not easy to predict, but he has his ideal conditions again and might well fare best of those drawn high.
Stepping Out (2.05 Goodwood) is also drawn in the centre in the Consolation and this progressive three-year-old looks the right type after quickening up smartly to settle a Pontefract handicap last time.
Just seven go to post for the Nassau Stakes, but this is also something of a head-scratcher. Nothing has won at Group One level –Mango Diva is the only filly to have won a Group Two – and there are question marks over several regarding trip and ground. There is some rain due this morning and any softening of the ground would suit the French runner Narnyin and also Sultanina, who is attempting to give John Gosden a third successive win in the race.
But if the going remains fast, Ballydoyle’s Venus de Milo (3.15 Goodwood), who chased home Thistle Bird in a Group One at the Curragh last time, is probably the answer, although she is probably more effective over further.
One of the most eye-catching performances at Goodwood came on Thursday when Rainbow Rock, one of Mark Johnston’s army of handicappers, finished powerfully but just too late to catch his stablemate Lyn Valley after seemingly downing tools and becoming detached in the rear for much of the race. Rainbow Rock (2.40 Goodwood) is worth another chance on his quick reappearance.
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