Today I’m going through this twenty eight runner field here, so if you’ve not been able to join the live events during the week, you can take a look into the best of the best for the feature race on the last day of the festival.
THE STEWARDS CUP HISTORY
Over a number of years in the 1830’s, the senior steward at Goodwood presented an annual cup to the winner of any race he chose. Each year the choice was different, and races up to one and a half miles were included.
In 1839, Lord George Bentinck created the Stewards Cup race over a distance of six furlongs to be a perpetual race.
From 1981 the race was sponsored by the Tote, and then by William Hill from 1982 to 1992.
Up until 1993 the race was held on the opening day of Glorious Goodwood, and in 1993 it was moved to the final day. At the same time Vodafone took over the sponsorship of the race.
In 2014 32Red took over the sponsorship and the race lost its historic name and turned into the 32Red Cup. In 2015 sponsorship was taken over by Qatar and the name was changed back to the Stewards Cup. This year it is Unibet who are sponsoring the race.
THE STEWARDS CUP ANALYSIS
At the time of writing there are 28 runners declared for this race. To narrow down the field I am going to remove any horse that has odds of higher than 29/1.
Doing this reduces the field to a far more manageable 13 runners. These runners are:
Next I’m going to run a Monte Carlo simulation to see which horses are the top four based on this simulation.
Nahaarr is the top rated horses and then there’s a slightly noticeable gap to the next runner Gulliver. From then on there’s very little difference between the horses until we get to Stone Of Destiny at the bottom, who has a slightly larger drop in score. You can see this by the red lines I’ve put in the image and positioning of the jockey silks (the better the score the further to the right they are)
Looking at raw probabilities of each horses chance of winning…
We can see that Lexington Dash is the best with a probailitty of 24.87%, followed by Nahaarr with a probability of 13.79%. Both of these horses are also marked as Contenders.
Next I’m going to use a technique that takes advantage of confidence levels. Every rating is an estimate of a horses performance from some angle. The true (100% accurate) figure is impossible to find, so we use something known as confidence levels to help us.
We get an upper and a lower confidence level for the horses rating, and this tells us, with 95% accuracy, the range that the horses rating would be in.
Of course, are rating is considered the most likely, but the range tells us where it could sit if the horse performed to its best or its worst.
The more information we have on a horse, and the more consistent that horses past performances have been, then the more accurate our ratings are and the smaller this range.
Here’s the range for PFP ratings for runners in the Stewards Cup.
What’s so incredibly about this, is it allows us to very quickly remove runners from being possible contenders. This how…
The best horse in the race is going to have an upper confidence level, the rating it would get if it performed at its best, and a lower confidence level, the rating it would get if it performed at its worst.
Assuming the best horse in the race, performs at its worst, then any runner who’s best rating (upper confidence level) isn’t at least as good the bet horses worst rating is unlikely to be able to contend in the race.
That’s a lot of best’s and worst’s! Here’s how it works in practice.
Summerghand has the best PFP rating in this race with 1552. If it performed at its best then we’d expect it to have a rating of 1585, if it performed at it’s worst we’d expect it to have a rating of 1520.
Any horse who, when performing at their best, doesn’t have a rating of at least 1520 is going to be eliminated from our field.
Doing this reduces the field down to just seven runners.
You’ll notice that Nahaar and Lexington Dash are both still in there.
The speed graphs, filtered to only look at similar races and having removed all runners we’re not interested in, show us this is going to be competitive.
However, we can still remove a few horses from this.
Lexington Dash doesn’t look particularly strong, and Tinto has been slowly declining in performance.
Terentum Star, the dark red at the bottom, is going to have to pull out all the stops to compete, as is Angel Alexander.
There’s also some concern over Summerghand who’s last performance was a significant drop.
This leaves Gulliver, Kimifive, Hey Jonesy and Nahaarr as the four major threats in this race.
Gulliver’s similar races (boxed in red) the horse has performed well at, but only won one of them and placed in the rest.
This tells us the horse can compete, but there’s concerns of him winning.
The races where Kimifive has competed sees a much worse performance than Gulliver, most of his races are over 7 furlongs instead of six, and there’s not a single win.
Hey Jonesy has done nothing much to speak of, at a similar level, until the last race where he just managed to take the win.
Nahaar looks to be the strongest over similar conditions, based on previous runs, but has a big jump in class to contend with.
For me, this reduces the field to Gulliver and Nahaar. Neither are ideal, but both could take the race. Gulliver seems to prefer placing rather than winning, and Nahaar has a big class jump to get over.
HOW I’M BETTING
At the time of writing the odds are looking like this:
Nahaar is currently the market favourite at 5.30, and Gulliver is third favourite at 23.00.
This is a huge odds range between the first and third horses in the field. Nahaarr’s odds are far too low in this large field, even though it has a strong chance of winning.
But this is just for fun. Normally we wouldn’t ever consider betting in a race this competitive as part of our day-to-day strategy.
So I will be betting on both Nahaarr and Gulliver with each-way bets.
Who are you going to be betting on? Let me know in the comments.