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Goodwood

  • 15:55 Blue Square Bet Stewards' Cup 6f

  • (Heritage Handicap) £100,000 added 3yo+ 27 ran
  • Winner £62,250 2nd £18,640 3rd £9,320 4th £4,660
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 1m 11.27s
  • Off time: 15:56:13

Victoire for Nicholls

View from connections: Blue Square Bet Stewards' Cup

Last Updated: 03/08/12 2:10pm

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Palace Moon: In the form of his life but has top-weight

Palace Moon: In the form of his life but has top-weight

Victoire De Lyphar runs off a 9lb lower mark in Saturday's Blue Square Bet Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood than when unplaced last year but he arrives on the back of his best run for some time when second to Colonel Mak at Hamilton.

Trained by the sprint king David Nicholls, he is owned by Middleham Park Racing and their racing manager Tim Palin said: "The old Victoire would have a first-rate chance of this rate.

"However, the Victoire of the last two years would have no chance. We think he's had a pelvic problem and he lost his confidence.

"Dandy is adamant that he's got him back and we think he is. He ticks all the boxes. He's well handicapped and if you look at the 10-year trends, he fits all them.

"The one negative is that we could be falling for conditions form in a big handicap and he could have been flattered last time.

"We're as hopeful as you can be and the old Victoire should win off that sort of mark, his draw (three) is perfect."

Emulate Victory

Palace Moon is aiming to emulate last year's winner Hoof It by carrying top weight to victory.

William Knight has rejuvenated the career of the seven-year-old, who was promising in his younger days with Hughie Morrison.

Having been winless for the last two seasons, Palace Moon triumphed twice on the all-weather in the winter and claimed a good race at Newbury in May.

He finished eighth in the Wokingham at Ascot and is in the form of his life according to his trainer.

Knight chose to start from stall 20 at Thursday's draw ceremony, despite the fact some believe the far side is the place to be.

"In previous Stewards' Cups there have been plenty of winners in the middle to far side, but I always feel closer to the stands is an advantage in sprint races," said Knight.

"I didn't want to be stuck in the middle so I'm pretty happy.

"I don't know how much bias there will be in the ground so being near horses with chances, who will take him into the race, is possibly more important.

"Looking at it now, there's enough decent horses around us.

"I just hope the rain stays away as he's in the form of his life."
Bit Of Research

One trainer who needs to be feared in every race at this meeting is Mark Johnston. Despite enjoying his usual plethora of winners around the country, it is the big winners for which trainers are remembered and Heavy Metal in the Richmond Stakes was his first Pattern winner of the year.

His representative in the Stewards' Cup is Es Que Love, twice a winner earlier in the year and only beaten just over four lengths when ninth behind Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee.

Johnston was poised to opt for a middle to far side position for his runner, but he was last out of the hat and allotted stall 17.

"I'd done a bit of research and the middle seems best for a win and the far side for places," said Johnston.

"But what seemed absolutely clear was that you don't win on the stands' side. I could have saved myself a bit of a rush to get here."

Old Boy

Borderlescott won this race back in 2006 and then went on to prove himself as one of the best sprinters in the country by twice winning the Nunthorpe.

His last win came at this meeting two years ago in the King George Stakes and this is his first run in a handicap since the corresponding race four years ago.

Rebecca Bastiman, trainer Robin Bastiman's daughter and assistant, said: "He did a fantastic piece of work on Wednesday and felt like he'd still got it.

"He seems to like Goodwood so we're sure he'll run well. But the most important thing is that he comes home safe."

Andrew Balding's stable remain in very good form and the Kingsclere trainer is represented by Dungannon, who will break from stall 24.

After finishing fifth in the Wokingham, Dungannon dropped to five furlongs last time out where he filled the same position back at Ascot but was not beaten far by Taajub.

"We were out of the hat early and we wanted to be this side. We won't know until the day whether we've made the right decision or not, so we'll see," said Balding.

"The horse is in great form and ground conditions shouldn't be a problem. I hope he can run very well if we've got it right with the draw."

Mick Easterby, trainer of Hoof It, will not be able to win back-to-back renewals after his representative this year, Ancient Cross, was declared a non-runner on account of an infected foot.

Strongly Fancied

David Barron has won the Stewards' Cup twice and is represented this year by Wokingham runner-up Waffle and recent Chester winner Elusive Prince.

The Thirsk handler hopes the latter's front-running style can help out his better-fancied stablemate who deserves to land a race of this nature.

"Elusive Prince is a naturally forward-going horse and the gallop he can set up will give Waffle something to run at. They're both well and should run well," said Barron.

"That's all you can ask for and anything else will be a bonus. Traditionally the far side is best, and that's where we've won from, so no point in changing.

"I think what you can say is that if it is won by a northern-trained horse, it will be on the far side. I think we've all stuck together."

Jamesie is strongly fancied to give David Marnane yet another big sprint handicap.

Red Alert was the last Irish-trained winner in 1974, but Marnane recently won the Wokingham with Dandy Boy so he knows exactly what is required.

Jamesie has been doing most of his recent racing over a mile and seven furlongs but his trainer believes the drop in trip could work in his favour.

"He deserves to take his chance in a race like this," said Marnane.

"We half-fancied him at Ascot in the Buckingham Palace when he was second from the wrong side and then we took him to Newmarket when the ground went against him and Pat Dobbs looked after him.

"I've been very happy with him since then and I think this drop down in trip might just work in his favour.

"You obviously need a good, clean run and plenty of luck though.

"We wanted a mid-low draw and when we were drawn the choice was five or nine, so we went with nine to give ourselves just a bit of room for manoeuvre."

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