Race of The Day Thursday August 02
15:351m 2f (2000m)

Qatar Nassau Stakes (Fillies’ & Mares’ Group 1)

Goodwood

  • Current Favourite  Urban Fox
  • Current Odds 5/2
Race Analysis Runners 6 Going Good Distance 1m 2f (2000m)

Race Overview

The Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes is open to fillies and mares aged three-years-old and upwards and carries a hefty prize fund £600,000. It is the feature on day three of Glorious Goodwood.

It has been won in the previous two years by the Newmarket 1,000 Guineas heroines, Minding and Winter, with Billesdon Brook attempting the feat now. Midday triumphed three times on the spin from 2009 for the late, great trainer Sir Henry Cecil and remains the only three-time winner.

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HOrse racing - William Haggas

Favourite Urban Fox

Urban Fox is a rapidly progressive four-year-old and readily dismissed Oaks winner Forever Together at the Curragh last time out. She represents the in-form William Haggas yard and looks sure to go close.

Horse racing Richard Hannon

Other Contenders

Aidan O’Brien settled on Lockinge winner Rhododendron to represent him and the daughter of Galileo could well usurp Urban Fox as favourite come post-time. She had some high-class form as a juvenile and is a dangerous weapon for the Ballydoyle team. Billesdon Brook, trained by Richard Hannon (pictured), won the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and could easily be underestimated having been beaten since at Royal Ascot. Veracious was ahead of her in that race and represents Sir Michael Stoute, while Wild Illusion is a ready-made contender in Godolphin blue.

Race Analysis

Urban Fox is a rapidly progressive four-year-old who did well as a juvenile for James Tate, winning three times, but struggled to break through at the top level last season.

Connections made the decision to relocate the daughter of Foxwedge to William Haggas’ yard over the winter and, it has got to be said, that decision is reaping dividends now.

She made short work of the Epsom Oaks winner Together Forever when landing the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh in July. That win, and all her best form, has come on good to firm going, so she won’t want to see any further easing in the conditions at Goodwood.

The Haggas team are in very good order right now, but this race potentially demands another career-best effort to get the job done.

Rhododendron ran out a game winner of the Lockinge at Newbury in May (the runner-up Lightning Spear won the Sussex Stakes here on Wednesday), but has since finished easily held in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot where she was well-backed. The daughter of Galileo is the lone arrow that Aidan O’Brien fires at this prize, perhaps something to be noted in itself.

She was a Group 1-winning miler at two-years-old and also dined at the top table last season, winning over this 1m2f trip in France and placing second behind brilliant stablemate Winter in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

As always with O’Brien, her readiness for the occasion could be cherry-ripe and she may well put that Ascot disappointment behind her.

With just three runs behind her, Sir Michael Stoute’s filly Veracious is the baby in this field in terms of racecourse experience.

She won a maiden at Newmarket on her second and final outing at two-years-old and it spoke volumes of her trainer’s opinion that this daughter of Frankel reappeared in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing third behind the brilliant Alpha Centauri.

That was much-improved form and certainly ensures she is one to take note of today.
Frankie Dettori, back from suspension, takes the ride and is sure to be chomping at the bit having missed out on big-race winners already this week.

Wild Illusion should also be competitive after runner-up efforts in the Oaks at Epsom and Royal Ascot’s Ribblesdale Stakes. She’s a Group 1-winning miler already and ought to be suited coming down in distance.

Charlie Appleby’s daughter of Dubawi has ground to make up on Urban Fox and Billesdon Brook seemingly.

On all know form, Wilamina has a tall order ahead of here in this race which leaves us with BILLESDON BROOK as the selection. She delivered a special Goodwood moment last summer (below).

Richard Hannon’s filly was an impressive winner of the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket this season, scoring decisively despite being sent off a rank outsider at 66/1 in the racing odds for the fillies’ Classic.

She’s run just once since, finishing well beaten behind Alpha Centauri at Royal Ascot in the Coronation Stakes. Given that Jessie Harrington’s filly looked every inch a superstar in winning that race, it may pay not to be too hard on Billesdon Brook.

She steps up in trip here, going beyond the mile for the first time in her career, and if she stays she could become the third straight Guineas winner to land this Goodwood showpiece and the fifth three-year-old in the last six runnings to win.

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Betting.net Selection

Billesdon Brook
9/1
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Betting.net Danger

Veracious
10/3

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Written by Enda McElhinney

Enda McElhinney is an Irish-based racing writer with an increasing portfolio of work on British and Irish racing. His daily routine is race-by-race form analysis, both on the Flat and over jumps. While the racing world must keep on turning, he is quite sure that no horse will ever pull at his heartstrings quite as much as the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Denman.