Tanya Stevenson's Racing UK Blog
|Saturday 5th July 2014|
Let’s all Cooler down after the Stewards’ Cup furore
The Stewards’ Cup sponsorship debate, or debacle, depending in which camp you are pitched, still rumbles on.
There was a pleasing public outcry that an online bookmaker has taken over sponsorship of the Glorious Goodwood sprint and has dropped the name. Let us emphasise, however, that it is a racing outcry, and one in a small parish.
On Thursday The Times and Daily Telegraph did not even have racing copy in their print versions, let alone a piece to inform or analyse the Stewards’ Cup situation.
Races of similar ilk are now to be protected by the British Horseracing Authority, but the first question might be why weren’t they in the first place?
As much as the debate rolls on one of the factors conveniently overlooked by the outrage brigade was how up until a month before the historic race had been without a sponsor.
At times when listening to the sports’ PR engine you would think racing is the best thing since sliced bread and that infinite queues of investors should align their names to our races. For Goodwood and the Glorious meeting, this sadly wasn’t the case.
The history of the race dates back to the 1830s, and its inception was in 1840. Don’t think for a moment I don’t understand the importance of history in the sport, let alone the race.
As a couple of years ago I even filmed a feature on the race as Sir Winston Churchill owned the 1959 winner Tudor Monarch.
The victory meant so much to one of our country’s most important, significant, and heroic figures that the actual Stewards’ Cup is displayed proudly at Chartwell, Churchill's former home in Kent.
The BHA’s move was one that I was going to suggest when I was jotting down ideas on a train to Manchester on Thursday.
It is all too easy to slip into the mode where the sponsor is taken for granted despite their investment.
Racing needs to think longer and harder about what it can offer those who wish to invest, and to go that extra mile and at that point some more ‘Blue Chip’ investors might finally enter the fray.
Rather than continually telling ourselves how good we are as a sport, we need to show and prove to others that very fact!
32Red have now had their investment to some extent pooh-poohed twice, firstly with the Bunbury Cup and now with the Stewards’ Cup.
They have funded plenty of other races, and changed the name of the Tolworth Hurdle.
Yet there was not as much backlash in that instance.
With the furore over the recent events surrounding the race is the sport now expected to set aside funding for races that can’t find a sponsor?
The sad truth is that had I walked along the numerous carriages of the train travelling to Manchester and asked them what they knew about the Stewards’ Cup – how many would have replied it was a horserace run at Goodwood?
That is the reality racing has to deal with. Our world is ever shrinking and this little ripple won’t make any difference to any one person outside it. It is sad but true and the sport does not have the luxury to shun sponsors and investors.
For now our history has been saved, but at what cost? Were there any potential investors watching on and do they admire our passion or are they scared of a sport that is so precious? Let’s hope it’s the former.
There is some fantastic sport this weekend.
The World Cup has been simply superb and I missed it this week on Wednesday and Thursday. The first Test against India at Trent Bridge starts on Wednesday and I can’t wait. Seeing three people in the County Ground in Derbyshire watching the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni is somewhat surreal when tens of thousands will queue up to get a glimpse of them in India.
Before all that my fingers are tightly crossed for the forecasters to be wrong for Saturday as at the beginning of the year I purchased once-in-a-lifetime tickets to be at the celebration of Lord's Bicentenary.
At that point I didn’t know the team line-ups, but as soon as I did I couldn’t wait to get to the ground. Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Aaron Finch, Shaun Tait, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul and Daniel Vettori are just some of the cricketing greats set to grace the ground.
At least there is a bet365 betting outlet on the ground showing pictures from all the meetings so I can keep across all the action.
How I wish you could be in at least two places at once as the Coral-Eclipse appears to be an absolute corker of a race.
There is doubt over the participation of some of the runners as what is good for The Fugue, good to firm going, is not for Kingston Hill and vice versa.
In reality it’s a race I’ll enjoy while being sent to get a cappuccino because one of my heroes is walking back into the Lord's pavilion!
What is not in doubt is the participation of Havana Cooler in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock, a race which Luca Cumani targets.
It is a race where those who have run in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot have moved on to Haydock and run particularly well.
Havana Cooler was one of my 37 horses to follow out of Royal Ascot so here’s hoping my eyes didn’t deceive me.
As for the World Cup I’m hoping that Argentina can galvanise themselves against Belgium, while the Netherlands should be too strong for Costa Rica. As the tournament has proved so far, anything can happen.
Tanya Stevenson's Saturday tip:
Tanya Stevenson's Pointers:
Twelve winners since 2000 had run at Royal Ascot.
All of the last ten winners had won at least one Group One.
The last ten winners had raced in a Group One on their most recent start.
All of the last ten winners came from the top three in the betting.
Aidan O’Brien has won the Coral-Eclipse five times with five different jockeys.
Three of the four Prince Of Wales’s Stakes winners to run in Coral-Eclipse have been beaten – Al Kazeem completed the double last year.
Night Of Thunder will be attempting to be the 10th Guineas winner to do the Eclipse double since 1900.
From the last seven horses to come on from the St James’s Palace to the Eclipse, two have won 2000 Giant’s Causeway, 2005 Oratorio.
From the last ten horses to come on from the Queen Anne to run in Eclipse, three have won 2001 Medicean, 2004 Refuse To Bend & 2008 Mount Nelson.
Eight of the last ten winners came from the first three in the betting.
Seven of the last ten were drawn one, two or three.
Five of the last ten winners were aged three.
Sir Michael Stoute has won the race three times from his last seven runners.
Eight of the last ten winners were trained in Newmarket.
Nine of the last ten winners came from the first three in the betting.
Barkston Ash has failed to win from nine tries at Haydock Park, on six of those occasions he has been less than 10-1.
Eight of the last ten winners came from the first three in the betting (Emirates Queen last year & 2006 Barshiba were sixth or worse in the market).
John Gosden is attempting his sixth win in the race. (1997 Squeak, 2003 Place Rouge, 2005 Playful Act, 2011 Gertrude Bell, 2012 Great Heavens).
Old Newton Cup:
Eight of the last ten winners of the Old Newton Cup were aged four (Dansili Dancer 2007 was aged five & Halicarnassus in 2011 was aged seven).
The last eleven Old Newton Cup winners have previously been successful over at least 11 furlongs.
Luca Cumani has won the Old Newton Cup three times and has had three placed horses from his last nine runners (2004 Alkaased, 2005 Zeitgeist, 2008 Mad Rush). He runs Havana Cooler on Saturday.
Over the last five seasons Adam Kirby has teamed up with Luca Cumani for a 41% strike rate, so is 11 from 27! He rides Havana Cooler.
Four of the last eight winners had run in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (Salutation, Havana Cooler, Dashing Star, Aussie Reigns, Viewpoint).
Eight of the last ten winners came from the first five in the betting (Consular in 2006 and Halicarnassus in 2011 were both eighth in the betting).
Seven of the last ten winners carried less than 9st-1lb so look towards the bottom of the handicap.