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Nassau Stakes tips for August's Group 1 race. The Group One Nassau Stakes is a race run over a trip of one and a quarter miles and one of the feature contests over the five-day Glorious Goodwood Festival. The powerful Aidan O'Brien yard have won the last two renewals and won the prize four times in total. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
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|No.||Horse||Sign Up Offer||CLAIM||£30||£30||CLAIM||£40||CLAIM||£30|
|Sea Of Class||9/2||7/1||5/1||7/1||11/2|
First run way back in 1840, the Group One Nassau Stakes is one of the feature races at the five-day Glorious Goodwood Festival each year. The race is restricted for fillies and mares so always attracts some of the best female middle-distance horses from around the globe.
In recent years the Nassau Stakes, which is run over a trip of one and a quarter miles, has been dominated by the Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden stables – they’ve been responsible for five of the last six winners between them, while there are some key Nassau Stakes tips to take into the race. For example, twelve of the last sixteen winners have been aged three or four years-old, while it might pay to note that horses from stalls one, six and seven have won a staggering eight of the last twelve renewals.
The already mentioned Aidan O’Brien camp have won the last two runnings with two classy fillies in Minding and Winter, with leading jockey Ryan Moore doing the steering on them both, so it goes without saying this combination will be popular in the Nassau Stakes betting once again in 2018.
We can expect the Ballydoyle maestro be well represented once again and in the days leading-up to the race we’ll bet a better picture of his final runners. Of course, the horse Ryan Moore decides to get the leg-up on will be the one punters latch onto but, like most of these top races, there is every chance O’Brien will fire several bullets at the prize.
Their classy filly Rhododendron could be one of their runners. She’s right out of the top draw on her day and that was backed-up earlier this season by landing the Group One Lockinge Stakes at Newbury back in May. That was her third success at the highest level, while she was a winner at this meeting, albeit a maiden, back in 2016 so we know the track suits. She’s a versatile filly that has won over trips ranging from seven furlongs up to one and a quarter miles, while she’s also a horse with few ground concerns – having won on both soft and good-to-firm during her career. Those looking to take her on will look at her recent flop at Ascot in the Queen Anne Stakes, but that was her first run at the Berkshire track and it doesn’t suit every horse. She’ll need to bounce back again, however, she’s run well in the past after slightly disappointed efforts so this four year-old certainly can’t be ruled out with her proven Group One-winning pedigree.
O’Brien’s Happily could be another to have this race as a target, but, if she does, she would have a few questions to answer surrounding the trip. She’s a high-class miler on her day but is yet to win beyond that trip. Okay, she’s raced over one and a quarter miles twice and in her defence she’s put up two solid efforts. First-up she was a close-up fourth in the Prix du Diane over in France and wasn’t disgraced to be fifth in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes last time at Sandown. That last outing was also against the males so she did well to only be beaten just over four lengths by Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior so back against her own sex would give her a much better chance. She’s never raced at Goodwood but there is no reason to suggest it won’t suit, while even though she’s gone okay on quicker ground if there is any rain between now and the race that would help her cause.
Away from the Ballydoyle runners the William Haggas yard, who will be seeking their first win in the Nassau Stakes, could have a strong hand too with Urban Fox and Sea Of Class both improving fillies.
Urban Fox cemented her claims for this race after a cracking win over the Epsom Oaks winner – Forever Together – last time out in the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh. She got the job done by an easy three and a quarter lengths that day and considering that was her first try over the trip it has opened up a lot of new avenues for connections. Quick ground does look to be key to her though as that recent success came in lightning-fast conditions, while she’s been beaten both times she’s raced on ground with any description of ‘soft’ in it. Add in that she’s tasted the track before when third in the Prestige Stakes here back in 2016 then, providing she gets her fast ground, this four year-old has the form to go well.
The other potential Haggas runner is Sea Of Class, who has caught the eye in winning two Listed races at Newbury this season. This three year-old would, of course, require a step up with this being a big leap up in class but she’s won very comfortably by two lengths both times and is hard to know how good she could potentially go onto be. Her sire is the former Derby winner Sea The Stars so her pedigree suggests she could go to the very top and that she should also cope with a slight step up in trip in time – she also holds an entry in the Yorkshire Oaks. Both those recent Newbury wins came on good-to-firm ground so if conditions did come up soft that would be an unknown, however, with only three career runs to her name we can expect plenty more to come from her.
With Nassau Stakes wins in 1997, and more recently in 2012, 2013 and 2014, trainer John Gosden is always a man to have in your sights ahead of this race. At this stage he’s got the four year-old Coronet entered, who is a two-time Group Two winner. She beat Horseplay in the Group Two Middleton Stakes at York back in May and the form of that win has since been franked with the runner-up and third – Horseplay and Smart Call – both winning since. Coronet then went down fighting (second) in the Group One Grand Prix de Saint Cloud over one and a half miles and is a very consistent performer in and around this level. From eleven starts has now finished in the top three eight time. Her big negative, however, is that she’s now raced in seven Group One races and is yet to get her head in front.
Finally, the Epsom Oaks runner-up Wild Illusion is a horse that could thrive now dropped back down to this Nassau Stakes trip. This Godolphin-owned three year-old stayed on well to be fourth in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket back in May but has since just fallen short when upped to one and a half miles when second in both the Epsom Oaks and Ribblesdale Stakes. This would be her first try over the trip, but everything suggests it would be a shrewd move by connections after not quite seeing out the longer distances recently. She’s also versatile in terms of ground, having won on soft and good-to-firm conditions, while if turning up in this race will be looking to become only Godolphin’s second success in the contest, with their sole success coming back in 1999.
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