Coral Stewards’ Cup: Orazio camp confident conditions will suit
Charlie Hills has few qualms about either the ground or the draw for lightly-raced sprinter Orazio, who is a warm order for the ultra-competitive Coral Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood.
The four-year-old, who came home sixth in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, is the sponsors’ 9/2 favourite for the six-furlong cavalry charge.
“Orazio tops the betting to give Hills a third success in the race,” said Coral’s John Hill. “The four-year-old has been popular ever since we opened the betting on the 6f contest.”
Coral ambassador Jim Crowley will ride the Caravaggio colt for the first time, as he bids for another big-race victory, following successes with Hukum in last weekend’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and Al Husn in the Nassau Stakes on Thursday.
Crowley partnered Khaadem to win the race in 2019 for Hills, who also landed the prize four years earlier with Magical Memory.
Drawn in stall six and proven on easy ground, Hills is confident of Orazio’s chance.
He said: “Orazio will like the ground, which was too firm at Ascot. He’s nicely drawn and though a short-priced favourite, the trip and ground should be perfect for him.”
The Lambourn handler also fields 16/1 chance Tanmawwy, drawn in stall eight of the maximum 28-runner field.
The mount of Connor Planas, the five-year-old has won five of his 12 starts and bids to follow up a Windsor handicap success under a 6lb penalty.
Hills added: “Tanmawwy won nicely at Windsor and will like the ground. I think he’s entitled to go well and is no slouch. You can’t rule him out.”
Apollo One team hoping for more rain
Peter Charalambous, who owns and bred 14/1 shot Apollo One, is happy enough with a draw near the stands rail in stall 27.
The five-year-old has won four and been placed on eight other occasions in 23 starts and has thrice gone close to picking up a big handicap prize this term, finishing runner-up on his last two, in the in the JRA Tokyo Trophy at Epsom and in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot.
Charalambous, who holds a joint training licence with James Clutterbuck, said: “I’m happy with the draw. We’d probably like to have some rain on Saturday to loosen up the sticky ground.
“He ran well at Ascot, but probably just did a bit too much in front and could have done with a little bit of a lead, but he ran a great race.
“The ground is the only slight concern. I wouldn’t put anyone off having a bet and I wouldn’t tell anyone to have a bet!”
Badri, drawn in stall 18, beat Apollo One by a neck at Epsom and was runner-up over five furlongs at Ascot last month.
“It is one of those lottery races, unless you happen to have a Group horse lurking there – which obviously we don’t!” trainer Ruth Carr said of her 16/1 entry.
“You never know. He’s in good form and has held his form well. Hopefully the ground will dry out a bit. It had dried out at Ascot from what it was given as (good to soft).
“That six furlongs should suit and we go there on the back of a good run. We’d be hopeful that he could sneak a bit of prize money.
“I don’t think going up in trip will be a problem. There’s a lot of downhill and we won over a stiff six at Newcastle, albeit off a lower mark.
“He’s been consistent – the sort of horse you dream about owning and training, and even better he’s taking us to the bigger meetings.
“At the beginning of this year, we thought we had an all-weather horse, and we wouldn’t be thinking he’d be a Stewards’ Cup horse.”
Mr Wagyu is 5lb below his previous winning mark, having had 13 races since taking a valuable handicap at the Curragh last July.
Beaten under three lengths in the Wokingham, Jason Hart’s mount, who is drawn in stall 14 and quoted at 20/1, will be one who will handle softer conditions.
Trainer John Quinn said: “He’s had three very good runs and ran very well in the Wokingham, where he had a hard race. I ran him back too quick (at Thirsk) – it was my fault.
“He won the Stewards’ Cup consolation race a couple of years ago here on soft ground, so soft ground won’t bother him. He’s pretty consistent and he bolted up off 91 and he is 95 on Saturday – he has a squeak.”
Ed Walker is delighted 25/1 chance Came From The Dark, drawn in stall 10, gets into the race at the foot of the handicap.
David Egan’s mount has been dropping down the handicap despite a string of decent efforts in defeat this term and the Newmarket handler feels he will be one sprinter who will benefit from the recent rain.
“He’ll love the ground,” said Walker. “Now he is getting a bit older, he needs that step back up to six (furlongs). I’m excited.
“He is a horse who has plenty of problems and, to be honest, he is a horse who has not got many runs left in him.
“But if he can recapture some of his earlier form this year, I reckon he will go close, because he has been tumbling down the weights. I think he’ll run a big race, I really do.”
Makanah, a close-up seventh last year for Julie Camacho and 25/1 here, is 4lb lower this time and her husband and assistant Steve Brown feels he could figure in the finish again.
“He ran really well last year and with the benefit of hindsight Paul (Mulrennan) might have done one or two things differently, as we were prominent throughout. We just got caught close home,” said Brown.
“Soft ground should be fine, he’s won on soft ground. My main concern is it looks like being a real ‘draw’ race, with a bias up the stands side.
“He is in really good form and we’ve had this in mind since Newcastle. He’s been trained for the day. We hope he runs well. We were really proud of him last year and off a lower mark, you’d like to think he’d be a little bit closer this year on ground he doesn’t mind.”
12/1 Bielsa, Albasheer
14/1 King’s Lynn, Apollo One, Summerghand
All odds and market correct at date of publication