After Wednesday’s magnificent duel on the downs in the Sussex Stakes, attention on Thursday switches to the fillies and mares as they go for gold in the Nassau Stakes.
Japanese raider Deirdre won the contest 12 months ago, but she faces tough competition to retain her title in the form of Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Fancy Blue and the unbeaten Nazeef.
It’s the standout renewal on a seven-race card which also includes the return of Derby-fifth English King in the Gordon Stakes, plus the Group 2 Richmond Stakes.
RACE OF THE DAY – NASSAU STAKES – GOODWOOD, 15:15
Seven red-hot fillies and mares are pencilled in to tackle the Nassau Stakes, and we think it could come down to a straight fight between Fancy Blue and Nazeef.
The latter of the pair remains unbeaten in seven career starts, however this is much tougher than duffing up the likeable but limited Billesdon Brook, as she’s done on two of her last three outings.
John Gosden’s inmate also had the highly-fancied Terebellum in-behind when she landed the Falmouth Stakes, but Fancy Blue looks a step up on the opposition she’s faced so far.
The Irish raider was narrowly touched off behind Peaceful in the Irish 1000 Guineas and reversed that form to win the Group 1 Prix de Diane at Chantilly ahead of Royal Ascot winner Alpine Star.
That’s the best form on offer, and with three-year-olds winning four of the last five renewals of the Nassau, Donnacha O’Brien’s charge has to be near the top of the shortlist.
Elsewhere, expect Deirdre to produce another fine effort after a tune-up in the Coronation Cup, while the ever-consistent Magic Wand has place claims back against her own sex.
NEXT BEST – GORDON STAKES – GOODWOOD, 14:45
Nothing quite went right for English King in the Derby. Ed Walker’s ante-post favourite was given a nightmare draw in stall one and then saw 25/1 outsider Serpentine steal a lead and runaway with the contest.
The mount of Frankie Dettori still showed plenty of quality to come home fifth at Epsom, and the way he previously dispatched Berkshire Rocco in the Derby Trial is probably a truer indicator if his ability.
He’s the rightful favourite to return to winning ways in the Gordon Stakes, although he’ll face competition from Al Aasy, who looks to be a horse on the up after landing the Bahrain Trophy last time out.
The Haggas-runner will have to defy a penalty to win this, but on the basis of his winning effort at Newmarket, there should be plenty more to come from the Sea The Stars colt.
Mogul is still yet to light the blue touch paper for Aidan O’Brien this season, while Khalifa Sat will need to prove his runner-up effort in the Derby was no fluke at a track where he’s a two-time winner.
ONE TO WATCH – RICHMOND STAKES – GOODWOOD, 14:15
While two-year-old races are tougher to judge this season than ever before, there looks to be a fair chance that Yazaman will give another bold showing over 6f here.
Another for William Haggas, the Kodiac colt has twice chased home Tactical in the Windsor Castle and the July Stakes, losing nothing in defeat on both occasions.
He pulled clear of the rest alongside the winner at Newmarket last time and this looks like a good opportunity for him to open his account and gain some black-type.
His biggest challenge could be from Qadaar, who finished fourth in the same race at HQ but should be capable of better at Goodwood where Mark Johnston-trained horse are never without hope.
Don’t be surprised if expensive Kingman colt Admiral Nelson manages to bounce back for Aidan O’Brien either after a disappointing in the Coventry Stakes.
THURSDAY 30TH JULY, DAY 3 GOODWOOD GUIDE
13:10 Goodwood – Mirabeau En Provence Handicap
13:45 Goodwood – You’re On Handicap
14:15 Goodwood – Richmond Stakes (Group 2)
14:45 Goodwood – Gordon Stakes (Group 3)
15:15 Goodwood – Nassau Stakes (Group 1)
15:45 Goodwood – Gusbourne Nursery Handicap
16:20 Goodwood – British European Breeder Fund EBF Fillies’ Stakes
16:55 Goodwood – Tatler Nursery Handicap
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication