We move on to hump day of the Glorious Goodwood festival, Nassau Stakes Day. We welcome back to the track Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner, Audarya, who pushed Love to the brink last time out and looks to improve and win her first group one in the UK. She faces the luckless Lady Bowthorpe, a horse who came to prominence after being the closest so far to contend against the TRC World T-Bred Rankings number one horse in Palace Pier.
Outside of several great group races, we start off with Kincsem Handicap over a mile and a quarter, named after one of the great horses in racing history. Kincsem, an icon in Hungary, went a perfect 54 for 54 in her career including group wins in England, France and 3 consecutive wins in Germany’s biggest race, the Grosser Preis von Baden. Amazingly enough, her racing career was cut short due to injury where she was kicked by one of her stablemates. It’s been over 130 years since Kincsem passed away but we honor her today to kick off proceedings.
Race 1 – Unibet ‘15 To Go’ Kincsem Handicap – 1 1/4 Miles, 3 Year Olds
8 – Patient Dream – Ray Dawson looks for his second winner of Glorious Goodwood aboard this son of Al Kazeem, coming off a strong win in a class 3 handicap at Windsor. Trainer Ralph Beckett stepped this horse up in class and trip at Epsom two back and still put together a game effort to be 4th that day. The ground should suit and the trip is ideal, expect a strong progression from this galloper.
2 – Aerion Power – An interesting move with this runner last time out as he stepped up in trip to this distance after several dominant victories over the mile. Throw out the Britannia Stakes as he was never a factor in the race and this horse has been fantastic. One fear I do have is that the horse has not touched a turf with much give in it. If the track dries up a bit he should be the horse to beat. If it doesn’t, he will still perform well, just not at his best.
3 – Qaader – Has performed well over the course at Goodwood, a course that is challenging for young horses with the way it’s designed. William Buick gets aboard for the first time with this runner who extends from a mile last start. I do question the move up in distance a bit with a strong milers pedigree, but at the same time the ability is there. This is one to look at especially if come race time the ground is closer to good to firm.
Race 2 – GII Richmond Stakes – 6 Furlongs, 2 Year Old C&Gs
3 – Caturra – Trainer Clive Cox took an aggressive step up with this horse after winning a class 5 novice at Bath over 5 furlongs. Caturra jumped straight into the GII Coventry and did not look ready to do so. Dropped back to listed company and showed the ability to win, albeit hanging a bit late in the stretch. He just seems like a horse that is still figuring it out but has the ability to win and is now making the appropriate step up to group two company.
2 – Asymmetric – This son of Showcasing put together a massive effort on the jump up into group stakes company at Newmarket, being outdueled by the highly touted Lusail at the line in the July Stakes. He started his career with a win at Goodwood in a class 4 maiden and like his sire has found his home over the 6 furlong trip, one of only two in the field to debut at that distance. A very competitive field for the Richmond Stakes, but Asymmetric should be the favorite. If not, there is value to be had.
4 – Ebro River – Will need the cut in the ground in order to be a live chance in this spot. Although Ebro River is still very young, his performances have been night and day based on the ground condition. Overall I think there is a lot of talent from this son of Galileo Gold, a sire who also appreciated soft ground. Both efforts in group two company were over 6 furlongs as is today, but I would blame the ground more than the distance for his poor performance.
Race 3 – GIII Gordon Stakes – 1 1/2 Miles, 3 Year Olds
6 – Sir Lucan – Love the slight cutback in distance after jumping up to 1 5/8 Miles last time out at Navan. Performed well in listed company and has shown the ability to handle a bit of give in the ground. Faced a strong field in the GIII Classic Trial and wasn’t much of a factor in the race. it’s a throwout in my book. Expect a continued improvement during his three year old season, possibly a very similar path to his full brother and Cox Plate winner, Sir Dragonet, who found his best form late in his three year old prep.
5 – Ottoman Emperor – Johnny Murtagh ships this runner over from Ireland on a three race win streak and all of which coming over good ground. Will be taking a step up in class in order to reach that level but at the same time his performances have shown the ability to handle it. The opposite scenario of why I like Sir Lucan in the way that Ottoman Emperor will be making the step up to a mile and a half as opposed to shortening up. However, I was impressed enough with the prior runs that I think he is a live chance.
8 – Wordsworth – This is a horse I have had a lot of time for this preparation. Took the horse in the GI Grand Prix de Paris and was not disappointed with the effort, albeit he was no match for Hurricane Lane on the day. Has not found the winner’s enclosure since his 3 year old debut at The Curragh and has contested some of Europe’s top 3 year old contests in that timeframe. Just missed a neck behind Sir Lucan in the Yeats Stakes and I would not be surprised to see a similar finish.
Race 4 – GI Nassau Stakes – 1 1/4 Miles, 3 & Up Fillies & Mares
1 – Audarya – Was greatly overlooked in the market on debut as a 5 year old in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. She came up against the powerhouse filly in Love, as well as the Cox Plate runner-up in Armory. Going off at 10-1 that day, she gave Love all she could handle to hold her off and disposed of Armory pretty easily. Although that form has not been backed up as of late, I thought her effort was extremely impressive and proved that her Breeders’ Cup triumph was not her group one swan song. She should be back in full force and will be dangerous in this spot.
3 – Empress Josephine – A disappointing performance in the GI Coronation Stakes but had some factors against her in the running. She is a classic winner at mile, taking out the GI Irish 1000 Guineas. However, it was her pedigree that caught my eye with her move up in distance. The Galileo/Danehill Dancer cross has been highly successful in going long even though her mother, multiple group one winner Lillie Langtry(who’s stakes race we will cover on day 5 of the meeting) won multiple group ones at a mile. Has the speed, has the stamina, and has shown the class on the racetrack.
5 – Technique – Has not found the winner’s enclosure this season but has been fantastic over this distance in two starts, just missing in both. The efforts against the 3 year old fillies in the Epsom Oaks and Irish 1000 Guineas Trial were outside of where she needs to be distance wise, albeit the staying ability that’s on the dam side of the pedigree. Her sire, Mastercraftsman won two group ones at the mile as a 3 year old and took the GIII Diamond Stakes over this distance on the All-Weather at Dundalk. Interesting to see how that translates, but the performances this prep have shown the mile and a quarter to be her wheelhouse.