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Saturday Preview of Goodwood Festival featuring Group 1 Nassau Stakes


2:15    Newmarket British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies & Mares) 1m4f

3:10    Goodwood Qatar Nassau Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Fillies & Mares) 1m1f192y

3:45    Goodwood Qatar Stewards´ Cup (Heritage Handicap) 6f 

Qatar Nassau Stakes

Connections of Diamondsandrubies are expecting a stern examination of their filly as she lines up in the Qatar Nassau Stakes – the Group 1 highlight on the final day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly scored a first victory at Group One level when holding 1000 Guineas winner Legatissimo by a short head in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh last month.

Diamondsandrubies had previously finished fourth in the Oaks at Epsom, two places behind Legatissimo, but she endured a troubled passage that day.

Legatissimo will be in opposition once again at Goodwood along with Prix de Diane victor Star Of Seville, and Richard Henry, part owner and breeder of Diamondsandrubies, knows it will be a tough test.

He said: “It looks a particularly strong renewal with a pair of Classic winners in the mix. Goodwood is a pretty unique track but we’re hopeful she’ll handle it.”

Legatissimo’s trainer David Wachman is pleased enough with his filly’s condition but following some ill fortune on her latest start at the Curragh, he is hoping for a little luck this time.

He said: “She seems well and we’re happy enough with her. If she can stay in one piece we’d have a chance, I hope.”

Star Of Seville is one of three representatives for John Gosden, along with Bright Approach and Jazzi Top, with the Derby-winning trainer bidding for a fourth successive win in the race following The Fugue (2012), Winsili (2013) and Sultanina (2014).

Star Of Seville finished well down the field in the Oaks at Epsom but bounced back to form when creating a minor surprise at Chantilly in the French equivalent of the Oaks.

Jazzi Top was four places ahead of Star Of Seville on her latest start in the Oaks while the four-year-old Bright Approach will be having her first outing since beating only one home in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot last year. The latter is the mount of Richard Hughes, who retires at the end of the meeting.

Gosden said: “Star Of Seville obviously ran a great race in the Prix de Diane. We are aware this a high-quality race against some proper fillies though.

“This is Jazzi Top’s trip, as it is for Star Of Seville, and Jazzi will be a better filly than she was in the Oaks. She’s really strengthened up and could be in the shake up. Bright Approach has been off for a long time but she’s been working well.”

Bright Approach is one of two older fillies in the race, with Alain de Royer-Dupre’s Cladocera also flying the flag for the four-year-old team.

Cladocera was a dual Group Two winner at Meydan during the winter and was last seen when finishing third behind Amazing Maria in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The trainer said: “Cladocera ran well to finish third at Royal Ascot and that form has been boosted by the winner going on to land the Falmouth Stakes.”

Qatar Stewards’ Cup preview

Roger Charlton relies on Huntsmans Close as he shoots for a record-equalling fourth success in the Qatar Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood.

John Scott and James Jewitt each won the race four times in the 1800s, but Charlton would be the first modern-day handler to complete the feat if Huntsmans Close can follow in the hoofprints of Harmonic Way (1999), Patavellian (2003) and Genki (2009).

Huntsmans Close won a competitive Windsor handicap last month but his previous visit to one of the big summer meetings ended badly as he got loose before the start of the Wokingham at Royal Ascot and was eventually withdrawn.

The five-year-old now sits on a mark of 102 and will break from stall 14 in the ever-competitive cavalry charge.

Charlton said: “Huntsmans Close is all set. He is in good order and his preparation has gone very well. It’s hard to compare him with my previous winners as every horse is different, but his last few races have all been described as career bests.

“He has got to keep that sort of improvement going, which is always difficult, but he goes there with a chance.

“There’s no such thing as a good thing in races like this, it is who is in the best form on the day, you need plenty of luck and he had none at Ascot.”

Dean Ivory fields three as he seeks a first success in the race with Group One performer Tropics topping the weights following his recent nose defeat at the hands of Muharaar in the July Cup.

He is joined by Lancelot Du Lac who is joint second top-weight, while Firmdecisions is at the other end of the field having scraped in as number 28.

Tropics will break from stall seven with Wokingham third Lancelot Du Lac in five and Firmdecisions on the other side of the track in 21.

Ivory said: “We’re just going to have to see how the draw works out on the day. The way I look at it is if the horse is fit and well and handles the ground and you get the luck in running, you’ve got a good chance. A splash of rain wouldn’t go amiss for Tropics. He seems in really good form.”


Friday’s Preview of the Qatar Goodwood Festival; 4 Group Stakes and more


2:00    Goodwood Betfred Glorious Stakes (Group 3) 1m4f     
2:35    Goodwood Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3) 1m 
3:10    Goodwood Betfred Mile (Heritage Handicap) 1m 
3:45    Goodwood Qatar King George Stakes (Group 2) 5f
4:55    Goodwood L´Ormarins Queens Plate Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares) 7f
6:50    Galway Guinness Handicap (Premier Handicap) 1m3f180y

Trip to Paris

Moviesta, pictured above, is one of three previous winners of the Qatar King George Stakes running at Goodwood on Friday.

The five-year-old sprinter claimed the Group Two dash in 2013 when trained by Bryan Smart and is now in the care of County Meath handler Eddie Lynam.

Irish interests are also spiked by the presence of the Tom Hogan-trained Dikta Del Mar, who was not beaten that far in the Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh earlier this month.

Grand old-stager Kingsgate Native struck in the King George Stakes way back in 2009 and has another go for Robert Cowell.

Last year’s winner Take Cover, trained in South Yorkshire by David Griffiths, has also been declared in a 15-runner field which features Muthmir, Justineo, Cotai Glory and the David O’Meara duo of Out Do and Move In Time.

Betfred Mile

The big handicap on Friday is the £150,000 Betfred Mile (3.10pm) and there are 22 runners for the heritage handicap include Basem (Saeed bin Suroor), who is likely favourite following a pair of valuable handicap wins at Sandown Park.

Group 3 contests

Friday’s seven-race programme also features a trio of Group Three contests, starting with the £100,000 Betfred Glorious Stakes (2.00pm) over a mile and a half, which has attracted Canadian Grade One winner Hillstar (Sir Michael Stoute) and Prince Of Wales’s Stakes fourth The Corsican (David Simcock).

Impressive Kempton maiden scorer Convey (Sir Michael Stoute) will be a leading contender for the one-mile £100,000 Group Three Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (2.35pm).

The £80,000 Group Three L’Ormarins Queens Plate Stakes (4.55pm), staged over seven furlongs for fillies and mares, includes New Providence (Hugo Palmer) and Kiyoshi (Charlie Hills), who were first and third in the Group Three Summer Stakes at York on July 10