The curtain comes down on Glorious Goodwood for another year this afternoon, and it’s a little disappointing that the 3:15pm 1m 2f Nassau Stakes is to be contested by just 7 horses, without a Group 1 win between them. That said, we should see a competitive race and it’s difficult to completely discount any of the contenders. 

John Gosden has saddled the previous two winners of the race, and has both Eastern Belle and Sultanina bidding to make it a hat-trick. The former has steadily improved with some solid Maiden and Listed form to her name, though the sharp rise in class is likely to prove too difficult. William Buick has opted to ride Sultanina, who lost her unbeaten tag when finishing runner-up to yet another classy stablemate, Pomology, in the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks over a mile and a half. The main concern is the drop back in trip, as she needed every inch of the 12f at Haydock when winning the Pinnacle Stakes two starts back. 

French raider NARNIYN is a very interesting contender for Alain de Royer-Dupre and Christophe Soumillon. She pieced together a four-timer before finishing a respectable 4th in the Group 1 Prix de Saint Cloud just over a month ago and that form is just about the best on offer. She has never raced without ‘soft’ somewhere in the going description which may put some punters off. However, purely on pedigree, there is no obvious ground preference. The daughter of Dubawi will certainly not be inconvenienced by the forecast rain but should the track remain good-firm, her price of 7-2 still looks appealing to me.   

The biggest danger to the selection is likely to be Aidan O’Brien’s inconsistent Venus de Milo. The Irish handler seems to have finally decided her ideal trip, after a decent effort to finish 2nd in the Pretty Polly Stakes on her most recent outing. That was another relatively weak Group 1, but a repeat of that effort should see her make the frame at leastMango Diva is another in with a shout, though it’s hard to get too excited about her form. I tend to think Sir Michael Stoute’s filly will be relying on below-par performances from the others at the head of the market if she’s to follow up her narrow Kilboy Estate Stakes victory, while Amazing Maria and Lustrous need to bounce back from tame efforts in the English and Irish Oaks respectively. 

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Posted in George Wells
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February 2018
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