Star three-year-old filly Minding (Aidan O’Brien)headlines 10 confirmations for the £600,000 Group One Qatar Nassau Stakes (3.10pm), Europe’s most valuable race for fillies and mares and the highlight of a seven-race card at Goodwood on the fifth and final day of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, Saturday, July 30.
The Galileo filly already has five Group Ones under her belt, including Classic triumphs this year in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs, and last time gained an easy victory in the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on June 26.
Her trainer Aidan O’Brien, chasing a third success in the Qatar Nassau Stakes, has also left in fellow Group One scorers Alice Springs and Ballydoyle.
Sir Michael Stoute is out to match the late Sir Henry Cecil’s record of eight victories in Qatar Nassau Stakes with potential improver Queen’s Trust. The three-year-old was hampered on her reappearance when fourth in a 10-furlong Listed race at Newbury and flew home to fill the same position in the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Chris Richardson, racing manager for owner Cheveley Park Stud, commented today: “The plan is to run Queen’s Trust in the Qatar Nassau Stakes. She is an improving filly and we feel that she has been a bit unlucky so far.
“Sir Michael is adamant that she should be competing at the top level and, whilst I appreciate Minding might be an impossible filly to beat, if you are not in you cannot win.
“I don’t think the drop back in trip will be a problem. The family were specialists over 10 furlongs and, although she looked better the further she went at Ascot, she has got a turn of foot.”
Another Newmarket trainer, John Gosden, has won three of the last four runnings of the Qatar Nassau Stakes and could saddle Swiss Range. The Khalid Abdullah homebred announced herself with a pair of impressive victories at Newmarket in the spring but could only finish eighth in the French Oaks last time out
Other Qatar Nassau Stakes entries include French challenger Jemayel (Jean Claude Rouget), winner of the Group One Prix Saint Alary in May, plus Hawksmoor (Hugo Palmer) and Beautiful Romance (Saeed bin Suroor) who have both captured Group Two prizes this season. Course scorers Bateel and Carnachy (both David Simcock) complete the potential field.
The feature heritage handicap of the meeting is the £250,000 Qatar Stewards’ Cup (3.45pm) over six furlongs. Dandy Nicholls has taken the spoils three times since the turn of the century and is responsible for warm favourite Orion’s Bow and Kimberella. Orion’s Bow is chasing a six-timer following wins in valuable handicaps at Newcastle and Hamilton, while Kimberella captured the Sky Bet Dash at York on Saturday (July 23).