Top-class field set to go in Qatar Nassau Stakes

Saturday’s fifth and final day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival will see the £600,000 Qatar Nassau Stakes (3.40pm) taking centre stage.

Monday, 27th July 2015, 11:30 pm
Jazzi Top wins at Newmarket earlier this season - could she repeat the feat at Goodwood? Picture by Mark Westley

The Group One contest for fillies and mares is staged over just short of 10 furlongs and has attracted 11 five-day confirmations.

The past three renewals of the Qatar Nassau Stakes have all been won by John Gosden-trained runners and the Newmarket handler has three entries going forward this year. These are headed by Group One Prix de Diane (French Oaks) scorer Star Of Seville, who could be joined by Investec Oaks fifth Jazzi Top and Bright Approach, who has not yet run in 2015.

Aidan O’Brien has won the Qatar Nassau Stakes twice and Ireland’s champion trainer is also responsible for three - the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes heroine Diamondsandrubies, recent Group Two Kilboy Estates winner Wedding Vow and Outstanding, who was third last time out in the Grade One Belmont Oaks in the USA.

The Coolmore trio of owners Michael Tabor, Derrick Smth and Sue Magnier are also represented by Legatissimo (David Wachman). The three-year-old captured the first fillies’ Classic of the season, the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, before just being beaten when the short-head runner-up in both the Oaks and the Pretty Polly Stakes.

French handler Alain de Royer Dupre went close to success in the Qatar Nassau Stakes 12 months ago when Narniyn was runner-up to Sultanina. He has one entry going forward this year with Cladocera. The four-year-old Oasis Dream filly scored twice at Group Two level over the winter at Meydan, Dubai and was last seen out when third in the mile Group Two Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Chantilly-based trainer said today: “We are currently considering our options for Cladocera.

“We will have a look tomorrow and come to a decision then, as she is also entered at Deauville. I am glad the forecast is for conditions to dry out at Goodwood, as she does need good ground to be at her best - she doesn’t like it too soft.

“The step up to 10 furlongs should be no problem for her. She has stayed on well over a mile and won over nine furlongs in Dubai.”

Also going forward are Investec Oaks third Lady Of Dubai (Luca Cumani), Arabian Queen (David Elsworth) and Malabar (Mick Channon).

The £250,000 Qatar Stewards’ Cup (3.45pm) is the richest handicap at the Qatar Goodwood Festival and 114 horses are left in the six-furlong spectacular. There is a maximum field of 28 and horses that don’t make the cut at the final declaration stage on Thursday are eligible for the consolation race, the £75,000 Qatar Stewards’ Sprint Handicap (2.00pm), which is the first race on Saturday.

Tropics (Dean Ivory) heads the weights on 9st 13lb for the Qatar Stewards’ Cup, having finished runner-up in the Group One July Cup at Newmarket on July 11.

Tanzeel (Charlie Hills) landed the Sky Bet Dash impressively at York on Saturday and is favourite with most bookmakers, despite having to carry a 6lb penalty. Hills also has another strongly-fancied contender in Magical Memory, an impressive winner of a six-furlong handicap at Newmarket’s July Festival.

Roger Charlton boasts a tremendous record in the Qatar Stewards’ Cup, having landed the historic contest three times. This year he is set to saddle the progressive Huntsmans Close, who is second favourite in most ante-post lists.

The final day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival also includes the £75,000 Educate A Child Handicap (1m 4f, 2.35pm, 25 entries) the £25,000 Qatar EBF Stallions Maiden (7f, 4.20pm, 38 entries), the £30,000 Qatar Handicap (7f, 4.55pm, 23 entries) and final race of the meeting, the £20,000 Qatar Apprentice Handicap (1m 1f, 6.00pm, 32 entries).

The £400,000 Qatar International Stakes, a Group One contest for pure bred Arabians, also takes place on Saturday and is the first leg of the Doha Triple Crown, a major new series linking three of the racing’s most prestigious international events.

The Doha Triple Crown was launched earlier this year at a press conference in Doha held during the H.H The Emir 24th International Equestrian Sword Festival where the series will conclude in February, 2016 with the running of Qatar’s most valuable contest the H.H The Emir’s Sword worth QR3 million. Longchamp provides the second leg of the Doha Triple Crown where the €1-million Qatar Arabian World Cup has quickly become an established feature of Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Weekend in early October. A bonus of US$1 million will be paid to the connections of any horse that wins all three races.

The £400,000 Qatar International Stakes is due off at 5.30pm.

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