Trainer Ruth Carr has two live contenders for one of the final day highlights at Glorious Goodwood, as she prepares Head Space and Klynch for the Stewards' cup on Saturday, August 4.
Weights for the six-furlong heritage handicap are headed by 2011 winner Hoof It, who carried a record 10st, with a welter burden of 10st 4lb. The Mick Easterby-trained sprinter is a 20-1 shot for a repeat success with William Hill.
Carr is the granddaughter of one of the greatest trainers of sprint handicappers of the last century in David Chapman whose Soba was a memorable winner of the 1982 Stewards’ Cup, and she has a good chance of repeating that success this year.
Head Space, a 25-1 chance with Bet365, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, (while acquiring an unwanted nickname), in a five-furlong handicap at Ayr in July when he shied badly nearing the winning line and had to settle for a share of third place.
The four-year-old had previously posted an easy success in a six-furlong handicap at the same course on June 22, adding to a half-length victory in a Newcastle handicap over five furlongs earlier the same month.
Carr put his behaviour down to a "a bit of greenness" and hopes that Head Space will grow out of a trait which he has displayed before including after crossing the winning line at Ayr previously.
Six-year-old Klynch, who is currently a standout 33-1 with Hills, is also on an upward curve having registered a hat-trick of wins on his last three starts. The Kyllachy gelding followed up a short-head verdict in a six-furlong York handicap on June 16 with a decisive victory over the same trip at Hamilton on June 28.
He continued his ascent up the sprinting ranks by comfortably taking an Epsom handicap over seven furlongs on July 5 and so heads to Goodwood in good form. With a good run in the Stewards Cup consolation race last year behind him he must have a decent chance.
Double Wokingham runner-up Waffle of David Barron is one of many vying for favouritism and can be backed at 14-1 with Paddypower and Betvictor, while James Fanshawe, always a force to be reckoned with in these types of races, has a couple near the head of the market in Mac's Power (16-1 with Ladbrokes) and Hallelujah (14-1 with Coral).
The top Newmarket stable are heavily-represented with Roger Charlton’s one time Guineas contender Top Offer of interest alongside William Haggas's Cape Classic, and of those near the top of the weights Godolphin have an interesting contender in ex-Australian Scarf, seventh in the Wokingham and then the comfortable winner of a Conditions race at Newbury.
David Marnane's Jamesie is another lurking near the head of the market and will be stepping back in trip after taking second behind Eton Forever in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Ascot.
With a maximum field of 28 there will be a few plotted-up horses who fail to make the line-up, and plenty of gambles that go astray, but the Stewards' Cup is always a tremendous puzzle and a race well worth betting on.