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The Qatar Nassau Stakes

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History

Only professional historians will know why the Nassau Stakes, one of the seven fillies & mares races in the QIPCO British Champions Series, is so called (you’ll need to go back to 1840 to find out – and being Dutch may help). Horseracing aficionados, however, will be well aware of the Group 1 race’s more recent history. The key elements? A chestnut mare called Midday, a jockey called Tom Queally and a trainer called Sir Henry Cecil.

That combination won in 2009, then returned for an action replay in 2010 and completed the hat-trick in 2011 – the first time a mare has triumphed in the race on three occasions. Two other horses – Roussalka in 1975-6 and Ruby Tiger in 1991-2 – have recorded Nassau Stakes doubles. Meanwhile owner Prince Khalid Abdulla has won the race four times in the last five years following Winsili’s victory in 2013 while John Gosden has now won it three times in a row.

The Nassau Stakes, open to fillies and mares aged three years or older, is the feature race on the final day of the Glorious Goodwood meeting.

Current leading jockey: Kieren Fallon, 3 wins (2002, 2003, 2004); Tom Queally, 3 wins (2009, 2010, 2011)
Current leading trainer:  Sir Michael Stoute, 6 wins (1984, 1990, 1994, 2002-4)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

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Weather

No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Minding secures sixth Group One prize

Ryan Moore registered a remarkable eighth win in this year’s QIPCO British Champions Series as star filly Minding secured her sixth Group One success in the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

Europe’s richest race for fillies and mares had looked at the mercy of the 1/5 favourite but Minding had to roll up her sleeves to fend off  Queen’s Trust by a length and a quarter after meeting slight trouble in the straight and dropping to last.

Before this year, the most wins any jockey had enjoyed in the Series was Tom Queally, who chaled up six in 2012 – the year after it was initiated.

With 14 races left, Moore has double figures in his sights. The three-time champion  has achieved three Series wins on Minding (QIPCO 1000 Guineas, Investec Oaks and Nassau) and has also secured victories on Order Of St George (Gold Cup), Twilight Son (Diamond Jubilee Stakes), Alice Springs (Falmouth Stakes), Highland Reel (King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes) and The Gurkha (Qatar Sussex Stakes).

The 32-year-old has also finished runner-up in six other Series races. Moore didn’t ride in either the King’s Stand Stakes, Commonwealth Cup  or Goodwood Cup. His record in the other 18 Series races reads 0121220221331210111. Meanwhile, Aidan O’Brien, the trainer of Minding,  has enjoyed seven winners in the Series – matching his previous best achieved in 2012. Last year, he had three.

After Minding had found to prevail from four rivals, a delighted O’Brien , said: “She was very well coming into the race. We were happy with her at home. We knew it was going to be a small field today and that it was going to be tactical. It was rough enough for her but Ryan negotiated it brilliantly and got through it.

“Hopefully, she’ll be fine and OK after the race. I was nervous watching it and a lot of things can happen and race riding can be dangerous at the best of times at the speed they’re going but we had the right outcome today.

“She is a great traveller, she quickens very well, she stays very well. She looks after herself when she gets to the front. She is thriving and she has a great mind. She is an unusual filly who can cruise, relax and quicken. She has always been a big powerful filly but physically she is doing very well. She was big, strong and powerful today.”

O’Brien would not be drawn on future targets for the filly who looks to have plenty of different possibilities. He remarked: “I’m not sure what the lads will do with her now but she can go down plenty of different ways from now. They’ll probably decide in a week or so but she has plenty of options.”

Moore was happy enough with Minding after the race and explained that she was never going to win that well because of the way the race panned out.

He said: “Today was never going to be impressive – it was always going to be a messy race. It was a small field and she was drawn in one so it was going to be tactical. I’ve had to get myself out of trouble early and then try and keep it simple.

“To keep this filly coming back with as hard a campaign as she has had – she has run in seven Group Ones in a row now and won six of them – she is a very special filly. She’s won them all from a mile to a mile and a half – she always does what we ask of her. It’s always hard to compare horses but it is hard to know how good this filly is because she is doing it over a variety of trips and she only does what she has to do.

The runner-up is owned by Cheveley Park Stud, whose Chris Richardson said: “She’s run a fantastic race – we’ve always believed in her and Sir Michael always knew she had a huge amount of class, natural ability and talent, and she was unlucky last year in the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket and again on two occasions this year.

“Last time in the Ribblesdale Stakes [at Royal Ascot] she was an awfully long way back turning for home, but we knew from that she stayed today’s trip and will stay further. The quicker ground may have helped, but she has talent, and there is no one better than Sir Michael with these sort of fillies.”

Jemayel kept on for third and Harry Herbert, representing Al Shaqab Racing, said: “She’s run an absolute blinder. We didn’t come here expecting to beat Minding, but it’s such a prestigious race with such wonderful prize money, and so we came hoping to get second or third and she’s done that.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

You may not have visited this racecourse, just north of Chichester in West Sussex, but you’ll surely have heard of ‘Glorious Goodwood’, the venue’s five-day summer festival.

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The festival forms a central part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, featuring three contrasting races at the end of July – the Qatar Sussex Stakes for Europe’s top milers, the Qatar Goodwood Cup for long-distance ‘stayers’ and the Qatar Nassau Stakes for a select field of fillies.

Horseracing began at Goodwood in 1802, courtesy of the third Duke of Richmond. Not that he was a huge fan. His main aim was to keep the officers of the Sussex Militia entertained.

Today’s course has a complex layout, with a six-furlong straight feeding into a tight right-handed loop catering for longer-distance races. The venue is overlooked by Trundle Iron Age hill fort, acting as an informal grandstand and offering fine views across the whole course.

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Getting there

Goodwood,
Chichester
PO18 0PS

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