Glorious Goodwood: Could Stoute land seventh Nassau crown?

Sir Michael Stoute is bidding for another Nassau Stakes triumph  Picture by Malcolm Wells 121822-9959
Sir Michael Stoute is bidding for another Nassau Stakes triumph Picture by Malcolm Wells 121822-9959

The £200,000 Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes (3.15pm) is the Group One highlight on the fifth and final day of Glorious Goodwood on Saturday and has 18 fillies and mares going forward after today’s confirmation stage.

Newmarket trainer Sir Michael Stoute has won the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes six times, including with the Cheveley Park Stud-owned Russian Rhythm in 2003.

The same owner/trainer combination is responsible this year for Integral who is set to make just her third appearance in the prestigious contest, which is run over just short of 10 furlongs.

Integral made her debut at Goodwood on May 31, taking a mile maiden in facile fashion before stepping up to Listed level for the mile Coral Distaff at Sandown on July 6, when she was similarly impressive. The three-year-old daughter of Dalakhani is out of Echelon, who won the Group Two Celebration Mile at Goodwood in 2007.

Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud, said today: “Everything has been fine with Integral and at the moment she is an intended runner in the Nassau Stakes. Obviously, it is a very big step up in class and competition, but there aren’t too many other options so we thought we might definitely learn something about her by running her at Goodwood.

“We would expect her to get the trip. She was certainly doing her best work in the final stages and going through horses at the end of her race at Sandown, so you’d expect her to hopefully handle the step up to 10 furlongs.

“She should be fine with the ground.There is rain forecast but the ground is good at the moment. It dries quickly at Goodwood so by the time we get to the end of next week it may be baking again. We will obviously monitor the ground but at the moment Sir Michael is very happy with her.

“We are optimistic. We threw her slightly in at the deep end in the Listed race at Sandown and she did it. I think Ryan (Moore) has been impressed with her so we’ll see what happens.”

Also confirmed for the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes are Sky Lantern (Richard Hannon), winner of both the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes this season as well as Just The Judge (Charlie Hills), who was runner-up to Sky Lantern at Newmarket before taking the Irish 1,000 Guineas and then finding Sky Lantern too good again over a mile when third at Royal Ascot.

Classic form is also represented by the Ralph Beckett-trained duo of Talent and Secret Gesture, the first two fillies home in the 12-furlong Investec Oaks.

The older generation includes Godolphin’s Sajjhaa (Saeed bin Suroor), a dual Group One winner in Dubai this year, and Ambivalent (Roger Varian), who recorded the biggest success of her career last time out in the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland.

Saturday’s card at Goodwood also features one of the season’s most famous handicaps, the £100,000 Robins Farm Racing Stewards’ Cup (3.50pm) over six furlongs.

The two most recent winners Hoof It (2011) and Hawkeyethenoo (2012) feature among the 103 going forward along with Tropics, who could bid for a quick follow-up success after landing a valuable contest at York on Saturday. There is a maximum field of 28 for the Robins Farm Racing Stewards’ Cup. Horses that fail to make the cut are eligible for the opening Robins Farm Racing Stewards’ Sprint Handicap (2.05pm).

Also in Saturday’s card are the RAC Handicap (2.40pm, 24 entries), the NatWest Ahead For Business EBF Maiden (4.25pm, 29 entries), the Fairmont Nursery (5.00pm, 36 entries) and the concluding Telegraph Handicap (5.35pm, 21 entries).

The going at Goodwood remains GOOD, with a couple of Good to Firm places on the round course.

Seamus Buckley, Goodwood’s clerk of the course, said on Monday afternoon: “We had eight millimetres of rain overnight which was grand. The similar amount of rain on Saturday all evaporated on Sunday after a breezy and dry day.

“Last night’s rain took us back to the situation on Sunday morning and so the going remains Good, with a couple of Good to Firm places on the round course.

“There were two showers around lunchtime but generally it has been dry and breezy today. The GoingStick reading at 3pm today was 7.9 as against 8.0 on Sunday and 8.7 on Saturday. There is forecast be a bit of rain tomorrow but not as much as was previously predicted and it should be gone by lunchtime.”

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