Nassau Stakes Betting Tips & Predictions – Goodwood, Thursday 1st August 2019

Day three of Glorious Goodwood features three back to back Group quality races, the last of which is the Nassau Stakes. The middle distance event is part of the British Champions Series and has a hefty purse to reflect its high status.

When the race began in 1840, it was only open to three-year-old fillies but since 1975 fillies and mares of all ages have been able to compete. Three-year-olds have continued to win the bulk of renewals since and we’re tipping Hermosa to maintain the trend this year.

Top Tips

Hermosa to win @ 7/4

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

With a couple of sharp right handed and undulating bends to tackle, horses competing here are in for a challenging time. Those with former 10 furlong experience should find things a little easier as it’s been a common theme among former Nassau champions. Another strong trend is that winners were previously victorious at Group level. Only two of the last 12 winners had failed to win a Group 1-3 race before securing Goodwood glory.

Going Distance Class Prize Money Runners EW Terms
Good 1m 1f 197y Group 1 £600,000 13 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

Aidan O’Brien missed out on a Nassau hat-trick last year, something previously managed by John Gosden (2012-14), Henry Cecil (2009-11) and Michael Stoute (2002-04).

Three-year-olds race eight pounds lighter than their older rivals in this race, something that has helped them to victory in the last four renewals of this prestigious contest.

Year Winner SP Trainer Jockey
2018 Wild Illusion 4/1 Charlie Appleby William Buick
2017 Winter 10/11 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2016 Minding 1/5 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2015 Legatissimo 2/1 David Wachman Wayne Lordan
2014 Sultanina 11/2 John Gosden William Buick
2013 Winsili 20/1 John Gosden William Buick

Analysis: Hermosa heads O’Brien five

Aidan O’Brien regularly has a large presence in leading fillies & mares contests and this is no exception. Responsible for five of the 13 horses remaining at the confirmation stage, the Irishman seems keen to get his hands on a fifth Nassau Stakes win. Hermosa leads his charge but I Can Fly (7/1) is a credible threat despite being five races without a win.

Mehdaayih returns to form

A lack of room denied Epsom Oaks favourite Mehdaayih (7/2) the ability to really show off what she could do in the Group 1 test. Hampered on a few occasions during the Classic, John Gosden’s horse had to settle for seventh place. Attempting the same distance again in France but this time with a clear run, the Frankel filly secured a comfortable win in the Prix de Malleret.

Although she should face a lack of traffic again here, unless we get a decent amount of rain, the ground may not be as soft as ideal as she’s been at her best on good to soft ground. Distance is also a minor concern as most recent efforts have come at or much nearer to a mile and a half.

Threat from the Channel

Fresh from her success in the French Oaks is Channel (7/1) who’s set for her British debut this Thursday. In France the three-year-old filly had only enjoyed small scale success before a somewhat unexpected win in Chantilly’s big race last month. She’s got a proven record over this trip but much like with Mehdaayih, the turf might be a little firmer than she’d like judging by her record. There’s also the question of how she’ll fare on unfamiliar territory. Trainer Francis-Henri Graffard rarely makes the journey across the Channel and out of 14 previous efforts in the last five years, just two have ended with wins.

Hermosa ready for longer trip

Although we mentioned earlier on how previous 10 furlong experience is a common feature among Nassau champions, there have been exceptions. Ready to be the next is one mile regular Hermosa, winner of the 1,000 Guineas and Irish 1,000 Guineas. She missed out making it a hat-trick when the evens favourite in the Coronation Stakes, likely the trigger for O’Brien deciding to push her up from a mile. The Irishman recently stated he’s convinced this is the right move for her and we’re inclined to agree.

Final Verdict: Hermosa to win

She’s reigned supreme in the 1,000 Guineas and the Irish 1,000 Guineas and now it’s time for Hermosa to secure another high-profile crown. Her lack of distance experience makes her a slight risk but from what we’ve seen from her over a mile, the filly has what it takes to beat both Mehdaayih and Channel across 10 furlongs.

About

Nassau Castle
Nassau Castle

Ladies’ Day at the Goodwood Festival brings much glitz and glamour to the course but of course it’s not just a big day for the girls watching on from the stands. The third day of the Festival is also a big one for the female horses as it sees the running of the Nassau Stakes, a test restricted to fillies and mares aged three and above. Boasting a hefty purse and Group 1 status, it’s one of the leading all-female races of the season and stands as part of the British Champions Series.

As some of you may know, Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas but that’s not the inspiration for the name of this race. It instead acknowledges the friendship between former Goodwood Racecourse owner, the 5th Duke of Richmond, and the House of Orange-Nassau. Back when first established in 1840, the event was contested over one mile but in 1911 it increased to its present length of just under of one mile and two furlongs. Another change followed in 1975 as for the first time three-year-olds were eligible to compete in the then Group 2 contest.

Three-Year-Olds On Top Following Rule Change

Chart Showing the Ages of Nassau Stakes Winners Between 1975 and 2018

Since being made eligible to compete in this race, three-year-olds have well and truly seized the opportunity. Regularly bettering their older competitors, younger entrants have enjoyed a sustained period of success in this race stemming right back to their first appearance in 1975. While there have been older victors dotted around, the chart below shows just how dominant minimum age performers have been. A large part of the reason why is that three-year-olds carry eight pounds less than horses aged four and above.

Midday Strikes Not Once but Thrice

It’s a rare sight to see any horse win this Group 1 event back to back. Ruby Tiger managed it in 1991 and then in 1992 and before that Roussalka was the last to pull off the double 16 years earlier.

Bearing this in mind, it is quite the remarkable feat that Sir Henry Cecil’s Midday managed to secure three consecutive victories in what remains a record breaking hat-trick. Having already won the 2009 and 2010 renewals, the Khalid Abdullah-owned horse returned as a five-year-old despite the lack of success older horses have had in this race. She showed no sign of aging though as she won by two lengths, clocking a time only half a second slower than recorded 12 months earlier.

Midday's Nassau Stakes Victories

Year Age SP Winning Distance Time
2011 5 6/4 F 2 lengths 2:07.72
2010 4 15/8 F 1.25 lengths 2:07.25
2009 3 11/2 2.25 lengths 2:09.42

Distance Form Not a Necessity

A former win or two over 1m 2f is certainly not going to harm a horse’s chances in this race but it’s far from a key requirement of Nassau Stakes hopefuls. For many former champions, winning this race was their first taste of success over the distance with several making their middle distance debut. Of course, there have been plenty of fillies and mares unable to cope with the demands of a longer trip but a former distance win nevertheless remains a fairly unimportant feature.

Chart Showing the Distance Experience of Nassau Stakes Winners between 2003 and 2018

Halfway Wins Heavenly Renewal

As there are often only single-digit fields competing in this middle distance race, sometimes it’s easy to spot who the winner will be down the final furlong. This was absolutely not the case during the 2008 renewal however, arguably the most memorable of recent times.

Aidan O’Brien’s Halfway To Heaven enjoyed a slender lead heading into the last 200 yards but the evens favourite Lush Lashes as well as Passage of Time and Heaven Sent were all well within touch. Lush Lashes mounted a real challenge but fell short by a head’s length alongside Passage of Time with Heaven Sent finishing just a neck further back.

2008 Nassau Stakes Full Result

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Distance Behind Winner
1 Halfway To Heaven Johnny Murtagh Aidan O'Brien -
2 Lush Lashes Kevin Manning Jim Bolger Head
3 Passage Of Time Ted Durcan Sir Henry Cecil 1/2 Length
4 Heaven Sent Ryan Moore Sir Michael Stoute 3/4 Length
5 Muthabara Richard Hills John Dunlop 2 Lengths
6 Classic Remark Micky Fenton Harry Dunlop 2 3/4 Lengths
7 Soft Morning Seb Sanders Sir Mark Prescott 5 Lengths
8 Majestic Roi Eddie Creighton Mick Channon 12 Lengths
9 Sugar Mint Michael Hills Barry Hills 22 Lengths

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