The Group One Nassau Stakes is the feature race on the Thursday of the Glorious Goodwood Festival. The race is run over a trip of one mile and two furlongs and is open to horses aged three or older. This is one of the main opportunities to see the Classic generation take on their elders and has been won in recent times by the likes of Winter and Minding.
This year’s contest is intriguing as it sees the Aidan O’Brien trained Rhododendron step back up to ten furlongs to take on the progressive Sir Michael Stoute trained Veracious and recent Group 1 heroine Urban Fox. The younger horses receive eight pounds from their elders here so it will be interesting to see if that enough to tip the scales in their favour.
Dual Guineas winner Winter took the step up in trip in her stride in this contest last year and put in a stunning performance, it will take a good one to be more impressive here.
Our Nassau Stakes tips should help you find the winner!
To narrow down the possibilities and make sense of this contest we will look at a few key statistics and trends which will help you pick your winner of the 2018 Nassau Stakes.
These are four trends which we feel are important to consider when looking for the winner of this race.
- 10 of the last 12 winners have been aged three or four
- 10 of the last 12 winners had won at Group level before
- 10 of the last 12 winners came from the top three in the betting
- 10 of the last 12 winners had run over ten furlongs before
Trends – Key Runners
Urban Fox ✅✅✅✅
Wild Illusion ✅✅✅❌
A few of these do well in the trends but one who ticks all the boxes is Aidan O’Brien’s Rhododendron. Her trainer won this in 2007, 2008, 2016 and 2017 and has a chance of a fifth success with this daughter of Galileo and Halfway To Heaven who has already been successful at Group 1 level three times. She was a classy two-year-old who capped off a good season with an easy win in the Fillies’ Mile and she bounced back from injury last season to win the Prix L’Opera over this trip before finishing an unlucky second at the Breeder’s Cup. She was behind Cracksman on her seasonal debut but took a step forward from that to win the Lockinge where she had recent Sussex Stakes winner Lightning Spear in second. She looked a bit short of pace in the Queen Anne and this might be her optimal trip so she has every chance, her stable does have a bug at the moment which tempers some enthusiasm.
The other horse who fits all four trends is recent Pretty Polly winner Urban Fox who took the step up in trip and grade in her stride when beating the three-year-olds in comprehensive fashion last time out. The short-priced favourite was very disappointing that day and possibly racing over the wrong trip so the form has to be taken with a pinch of salt but she was most impressive nonetheless. She looked to relish this trip and sets a good standard for the younger challengers to aim at.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Veracious has yet to win a Group race and races over ten furlongs for the first time here but has been very well-backed in the days leading up to this race and is very interesting. She was a most impressive maiden winner towards the end of last season and had been talked up for the 1000 Guineas which she missed through injury. She was making her first start in 252 days when finishing third behind the brilliant Alpha Centauri in the Coronation Stakes and that was a very respectable effort. The form of that race seems to be working out well and the step up in trip should suit so she has every chance.
Wild Illusion was a Group 1 winner at two and has shown plenty of useful form this season but probably needs to improve a few pounds to trouble the principles here. She is most at home on ground with a bit of cut but shouldn’t have too many problems with the conditions here and the trip should suit. She finished fourth in the 1000 Guineas then second in the Oaks and the Ribblesdale so has top class form but has just been falling short this season. She should run her race but needs to improve to win.