A host of Group One-winning fillies and mares feature among 34 tremendous entries for this year’s £200,000 Group One Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes.
The race is run over just shy of 10 furlongs on the final day of Glorious Goodwood - Saturday, August 3.
The Fugue posted a comfortable length victory in last year’s race and the John Gosden-trained four-year-old - owned by Lord Loyd Webber - is on course to defend her crown following a rare below-par run in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park on July 6, after which she produced a dirty scope.
Snow Fairy, runner-up to the outstanding Midday in 2011, could make her seasonal return in the race for trainer Ed Dunlop. The dual Classic winner recorded a sixth Group One victory when beating Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abbey in the Irish Champion Stakes on her latest appearance at Leopardstown, Ireland, in September.
The Classic crop are well represented, with 20 three-year-olds entered including the Richard Hannon-trained Sky Lantern, who followed up success in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas with a scintillating four-length victory in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot - and was runner-up in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.
Just The Judge, successful in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh for Charlie Hills, is set to step up in distance in the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes, while Talent and Secret Gesture, both trained by Ralph Beckett, could drop down to a mile and a quarter after fighting out the finish to the Investec Oaks at the end of May.
Last year’s Investec Oaks heroine Was features among six entries from the stable of Aidan O’Brien, while Sajjhaa, a dual Group One winner in Dubai earlier this year, could line up for Godolphin handler Saeed bin Suroor.
The Roger Varian-trained four-year-old Ambivalent made all of the running to post a half-length victory over Was in the 10-furlong Group One Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland, on June 30.
Varian has also given an entry to South African import Dancewiththedevil, who notched five Grade One wins in her native country. The seven-year-old was eighth on her debut for her new trainer in the Group Two Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 19 - her first outing for more than a year.
Newmarket-based Varian commented: “Ambivalent and Dancewiththedevil are possible runners at Goodwood.
“It was great to see Ambivalent win the Pretty Polly Stakes. I think that she was suited by the change of tactics and how the race panned out for her - that’s not to say that she needs to be ridden from the front every time, but it certainly paid off for her at the Curragh.
“She’s pretty versatile between 10 and 12 furlongs and she has also an entry in the Yorkshire Oaks. She’s a good filly and she has shown that she can hold her own in Group One company.
“I wasn’t disappointed with Dancewiththedevil at Royal Ascot. She took quite a while to acclimatise and I think that run has really brought her forward considerably. I would be expecting a much bolder run wherever we decide to go next with her.
“She’s a five-time Grade One winner in South Africa and a real superstar out there.”
Chicquita, one of three French-trained entries, was runner-up in the French Oaks, the Prix de Diane, on her latest start, while Listed scorers Integral, Alive Alive Oh and Venus de Milo look certain to make their mark in better company.
THE MARKEL INSURANCE NASSAU STAKES
£200,000 Total Prize Fund. Class 1, Group 1, Part of the British Champions Series. 1m 1f 192 yds, 3.15pm, Goodwood, Saturday, August 3, 2011. For three-year-olds and upwards, fillies and mares only. Weights: 3-y-o 8st 11lb, 4-y-o and upwards 9st 6lb. Entries closed, July 9, entries revealed July 11 (34 entries). Five-day confirmation & £17,000 supplementary entry stage, Monday, July 29. Final declarations Thursday, August 1. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys up and including the racing of Tuesday, July 9. May not include some overseas form.
ALBASHARAH (USA) 4 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
ALIVE ALIVE OH 3 Sue-Ann Foley Tommy Stack IRE
AMBIVALENT (IRE) 4 Ali Saeed Roger Varian
AQUATINTA (GER) 3 Peter Harris Clive Cox
BANOFFEE (IRE) 3 Michael Kerr-Dineen, Lord Hambleden & Partners Hughie Morrison
BEATRICE AURORE (IRE) 5 Benny Andersson Ed Dunlop
BUNAIRGEAD (IRE) 3 Jackie Bolger Jim Bolger IRE
CHICQUITA (IRE) 3 Paul Makin Alain de Royer Dupre FR
DANCEWITHTHEDEVIL (SAF) 7 St John D. Gray Roger Varian
DANK 4 James Wigan Sir Michael Stoute
HARASIYA (IRE) 3 H H Aga Khan John Oxx IRE
HOT SNAP 3 Khalid Abdullah Lady Cecil
INTEGRAL 3 Cheveley Park Stud Sir Michael Stoute
JUST PRETENDING (USA) 3 Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
JUST THE JUDGE (IRE) 3 Qatar Racing Limited & Sangster Family Charlie Hills
LADYS FIRST 4 Helen Steel Richard Fahey
MAGICAL DREAM (IRE) 3 Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
MOMENT IN TIME (IRE) 4 Julia Annable David Simcock
MOTH (IRE) 3 Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
ROMANTICA 4 Khalid Abdullah Andre Fabre FR
SAJJHAA 6 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
SAY (IRE) 3 Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
SCINTILLULA (IRE) 3 Kirsten Rausing Jim Bolger IRE
SECRET GESTURE 3 Qatar Racing Ltd & Newsells Park Stud Ralph Beckett
SEMAYYEL (IRE) 4 Saeed Manana Clive Brittain
SKY LANTERN (IRE) 3 Ben Keswick Richard Hannon
SNOW FAIRY (IRE) 6 Anamoine Ltd Ed Dunlop
SPARKLING BEAM (IRE) 3 George Strawbridge Jonathan Pease FR
TALENT 3 James Rowsell & Mark Dixon Ralph Beckett
THE FUGUE 4 Lord Lloyd-Webber John Gosden
THISTLE BIRD 5 Lady Rothschild Roger Charlton
VENUS DE MILO (IRE) 3 Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
WAS (IRE) 4 Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
WINSILI 3 Khalid Abdullah John Gosden