My contrarian plays on day 5 at Goodwood....

Last Updated: 29.07.2016

Friday, 29th July 2016

Good afternoon, contrarians,

On the menu today….

  • Two against the field in the Stewards’ Cup….

Two against the field in the Stewards’ Cup….

The Stewards’ Cup (3.45) is the big betting race on Saturday at Glorious Goodwood. A field of 28 runners will hurtle up the straight 6f and there are plenty with chances in at prices….

The 3yos find this race a tough proposition. Magical Memory managed to win it as a 3yo last year but the other 24 three-year-olds to try the race since 2002 produced just a single frame finish between them.

Stats have to be respected, of course. But they also have to be put into context. And we shouldn’t forget that stats are just a record of what happened in the past. They are not necessarily a definite indicator of what will happen in the future. The stats are there to be bucked.

For me it boils down to price….

I wouldn’t want to be backing Dancing Star – Andrew Balding’s 3yo runner tomorrow – to buck the statistical trends at quotes as short as 6s…. But I am prepared to back William Haggas’s smart 3yo RAUCOUS to do so at this morning’s 20s.

Haggas runners always merit respect and close inspection in this particular race. He’s been frugal with his entries this century – with just 6 runners in total – but he’s been successful too as race form figures of 120150 serve to illustrate.

Those are the figures of a handler who only sends horses with a fighting chance of delivering and I think that’s what Raucous has tomorrow. And, despite his age, at the price I’m prepared to bet that he can go close.

But it’s not all feelings and hunches and reading between the lines. The bottom line is that Raucous’s last-time-out performance at Newbury behind The Tin Man was not a million miles away from what is required to win an average renewal of tomorrow’s race. He has plenty of scope for additional improvement. If he finds it tomorrow he is a serious player.

The other one I’m going to play is SIR ROBERT CHEVAL at this morning’s 25s.

Until two runs back this one was contesting races over trips of 7f and a mile for Marco Botti. But no more. He’s moved to sprint-specialist Robert Cowell’s yard over the winter, he’s been dropped back in trip and all the signs are he’s going to improve for it.

He’s certainly got plenty of speed. He’s shown that in both runs for his new yard to date – at Newmarket and at Newcastle.

I know he was being considered for the Wokingham at Royal Ascot. That tells you something about how good a sprinter Cowell thinks the horse might be. He didn’t go to Berkshire as it turns out. But you can be sure he’s expected to land a big pot for connections. At 25s it’s a fair bet that tomorrow will be the day.

Cowell is another handler who doesn’t waste entries in this race – his five runners since 2009 have produced a win and two places. He knows a Stewards’ Cup horse when he’s got one. I reckon he could have another.

The Contrarian Bet Box….

To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….

In the Stewards’ Cup (3.45 Goodwood)....

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – RAUCOUS each-way (20s generally) & SIR ROBERT CHEVAL each-way (25s generally)

That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.


That’s all from me for today. I’ll be back in your in-box next week.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd