6f Unibet Stewards’ Cup (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2)
Three-year-olds have a good recent record in the Stewards’ Cup and I fancy MERAAS best out of that crop with Lexington Dash also making plenty of appeal.
Meraas has made rapid improvement for Mark Johnston which has seen him claim three victories in four since the end of lockdown including the Scottish version of the Stewards’ Cup at Hamilton a few weeks ago.
A son of Oasis Dream, Meraas has been drawn stall four and with other pace around him you can see the race developing around him as he likes to go off quick.
With the Steward’s Cup often throwing up a Group horse in a handicap, Meraas looks just as likely to progress to that level as Nahaarr, who has a favourite’s chance for William Haggas at 4/1 odds.
Meraas’s only slip-up came on soft ground at Newmarket so the return to a sounder surface should be in his favour and with form at Hamilton (which is a similar track to Goodwood) conditions should suit him.
I’m also going to take a chance on CHAIRMANOFTHEBOARD at a double figure price of 25/1. A son of Slade Power, he has always been held in high regard by Mick Channon, underlined by an entry in the 2,000 Guineas at one stage.
Chairmanoftheboard won his maiden really impressively over course and distance in 2018 before losing his way when tried over 7f-1m trips during his three-year-old campaign.
Connections might have been justified in giving up on Chairmanoftheboard, but he has shown some much improved form as a four-year-old racing only over 6f, winning two of his last three starts to take his mark to 95. But the manner of those performances have suggested there could be plenty more to come from Chairmanoftheboard who remains lightly-raced over 6f at the age of four where he has won 3/5 starts at the trip.
There’s a slight concern that he’s more effective on softer ground with a cold-read of the form, but I’m not so sure it will effect him. I think he just needs a very strong gallop to be at his best, which he’s sure to get here. His draw in stall 14 gives Rob Hornby options and he can guide his mount towards the pace.
Chairmanoftheboard looks overpriced for me and if he can get a bit of luck in running, he should run a big race.
1pt each-way Meraas @13/2, 15:35 Goodwood, Saturday (1-7 places, 1/5 odds with William Hill)
1pt each-way Chairmanoftheboard @25/1, 15:35 Goodwood, Saturday (1-7 places, 1/5 odds with William Hill)