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Winter faces hot opposition in Nassau Stakes

1 Aug 2017

Five Group 1 winners will clash in the Goodwood showpiece on Thursday

Winter and Ryan Moore win the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Winter will face six rivals – half of them winners at the highest level – when she seeks to secure a fourth successive Group 1 triumph in the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on Thursday.

The mile and a quarter contest, which carries prize money of £600,000, forms part of the Fillies & Mares category of the QIPCO British Champions Series and was won last year by the outstanding Minding.

Winter has flourished this campaign, winning the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes. Her latest victory, at Royal Ascot, was gained at the main expense of stablemate Roly Poly, herself a subsequent dual Group 1 winner.

The grey daughter of Galileo will be having her first run beyond a mile but Aidan O’Brien, her trainer, who also runs Hydrangea, has no qualms about her ability to stay the trip. There is great depth to the opposition, though, and little prospect of Winter starting at 1-5, which is the price her former stablemate Minding obliged at 12 months ago.

 

Charlie Appleby has had 209 runners in Britain this season, with 100 finishing either first or second. He is represented by Sobetsu, winner of the Group 1 Gurkha Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary at Deauville in May, and Wuheida, who won the Group 1 Total Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly in October.

John Gosden won the QIPCO-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday with Enable and saddles two fascinating contenders in Shutter Speed and So Mi Dar. Frankie Dettori has opted to ride the latter.

Shutter Speed was beaten for the first time in four outings when a close fourth in the Group 1 Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly in June, although Dettori, who rode her that afternoon, was nursing a shoulder injury at the time and subsequently spent a month on the sidelines.

Ground conditions and minor setbacks have prevented So Mi Dar from running this term but she too has suffered just one defeat in five starts, when an unlucky third in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera Longines at Chantilly in October. Before that, she had given 4lb and a half-length beating to Nezwaah in a Listed race at Yarmouth.

Queen’s Trust, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, chased home Minding in last year’s Nassau Stakes and went on to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita. She shaped as if retaining all her ability when a staying-on fourth to Highland Reel in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on her latest start. Aim To Please and Blond Me complete the field.