'I've seen tougher Stewards' Cups' - trainer thoughts on the day's big handicap
Saturday: 3.40 Goodwood
Unibet Stewards' Cup (Heritage Handicap) | 6f | 3yo+ | ITV/RTV
Kieran Shoemark and James Fanshawe experienced contrasting emotions in Thursday's Nassau Stakes, but are working on the same page for the Stewards' Cup as they team up with the fancied Fresh.
Shoemark, who claimed the biggest victory of his career by winning the Nassau on the popular Lady Bowthorpe, is far from a regular rider for Fanshawe, whose Audarya disappointed in fifth.
However, the jockey has an association with Fresh's owner Steve Parkin and he could be celebrating again if his mount's profile is anything to go by.
Second in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot last time, he enjoys ease in the ground and remains an unexposed four-year-old.
Fanshawe, a Stewards' Cup winner with Zidane in 2007, said: "He's in good shape and we'll see if we've chosen the right draw – we've played a very safe game in the middle in 16 and any extra rain would be to his advantage.
"He tells you nothing at home. He's the most laid-back horse you could ever meet, but he looks very well and is nice and bright in himself, while Kieran's got his Group 1 and should be full of confidence."
Reflecting on Zidane's victory, Fanshawe added: "He won from 18, but we forgot to turn up for the draw. I thought it was the next day so we got put last and that's what we got!"
What they say
Mick Appleby, trainer of Danzeno
He's made for these sort of races. He hated the ground at Ascot, it was too heavy for him there, but he seems in good form now.
Mark Johnston, trainer of Meraas and Desert Safari
Obviously a lot of people went for high numbers early on [in the draw]. I didn't choose the rail as there is a danger when you're on the rail that you can get stuck out and trapped in behind when the field come across in front of you. Both horses are in good form. Desert Safari is not a horse who is going to be up towards the pace, so he will possibly have traffic problems and hopefully he can extricate himself. I've never won the Stewards' Cup and generally these are not my favourite races as lady luck plays such a key part in it. I prefer races where the form outs.
Adam Ryan, assistant to Kevin Ryan, trainer of Hey Jonesy, Bielsa, Major Jumbo and Justanotherbottle
Hey Jonesy is not the most consistent, but has been there on the big days and is a very straightforward horse, while Bielsa has been running some big races without getting his head in front this season. Conditions should suit and he's in great order, while he's a nice draw in 11, which gives him plenty of options. Major Jumbo was back in form last time out and is also straightforward, so can be quite aggressive from stall four. He handles any sort of going and Justanotherbottle has gone close in this before. He likes the track, which is a big bonus and it was a step in the right direction last time. They're all in good order and it wouldn't be a surprise if any won, but I suppose our best chance is Bielsa on his form this year and conditions.
Richard Fahey, trainer of Mr Lupton
I shouldn't really say this but I've seen tougher Stewards' Cups, so hopefully we've done well with the draw . Everyone went high early on in the draw and then there was a difference of opinion in terms of going low. I didn't want to be in the middle so that's why I went low.
Charlie Fellowes, trainer of Ejtilaab and Chiefofchiefs
Ejtilaab's owner rang me a few weeks ago and said he wanted to give the horse a change of scenery, so he's moved over and settled in well. I don't know him very well as he's only been with me three weeks, but he's a lovely looking horse with a nice nature. He was pretty fit when he came over so I've not had to do much with him. He's in good form and this was very much the plan, while you'd think the track and ground would really suit him. Chiefofchiefs is in cracking form and has been a bit unlucky this year as it's chucked it down the last twice we've ran him. He's not as good on soft as he is on decent ground. He's got a serious turn of foot, but he can't show it on soft ground. He's flying and as little as I know Ejtilaab, I know Chiefofchiefs like the back of my hand and he's in as good a nick as I could have him.
Ed Walker, trainer of Great Ambassador
He's in awesome form and I hope the weather is kind because we've played the waiting game and the owners have been incredibly patient. We waited for the Wokingham and the ground went too soft for him so we put him on hold again and I just pray it's good or faster. The reason I've been so keen to bide our time before finding a big race is that I think he's very unexposed as a sprinter and is on a good mark. This quick six furlongs will suit and the pace of the race is probably the key – they didn't go fast enough last time at Newmarket but they don't hang around in the Stewards' Cup.
David Menuisier, trainer of Atalanta's Boy
If we get more rain, I have a feeling the stands' side is where you will have to be. I would have preferred to have an even number as this horse is a bit funny in the stalls. It means that he will be in the stalls longer than I'd like, but saying that, I am happy enough.
Jack Channon, assistant to Mick Channon, trainer of Barbill
His form's been a bit hit and miss this year, but he seems to be in good form of late, so hopefully he's coming back to near his best. He's well handicapped if he puts his best foot forward.
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