by CELIA ROCHE AS July turns to August there is only one place to look as Glorious Goodwood stages one of British racing’s most iconic summer meetings. With five days of thrilling action on the turf at Goodwood just around the corner, we look back at some recent memories from the meeting and highlight the horses likely to have a big say this time around.
The Sussex Stakes
This race has been won by some iconic horses in recent years including Canford Cliffs, Frankel, Toronado and Kingman. It is a high class mile contest where only the strongest need apply and in recent times it has come to represent “The Duel on the Downs” with a regular sparring match between the top two in the market.
That moniker was born when reigning champ Canford Cliffs locked horns with Frankel in 2011 – before anyone was aware just how talented Sir Henry Cecil’s runner would prove to be.
Toronado eclipsed old rival Dawn Approach in 2013 while last year Kingman scored a third Group One of the summer after winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas at The Curragh and Royal Ascot’s St James’s Palace Stakes.
Another duel is in prospect this year. Aidan O’Brien’s Gleneagles won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and followed up by taking the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes. The Irish colt is well fancied with Betfair among other bookmakers, but will have to go some to lower the colours of the brilliant French raider Solow – three times a Group One winner this season already.
The Nassau Stakes
Getting in on the act in the one-mile contest for the fairer sex has proved exceedingly difficult in recent times.
This contest has been owned by three trainers since 2007 – Aidan O’Brien, the late Sir Henry Cecil and John Gosden maintaining a stranglehold for eight years. The Master of Ballydoyle trails with a mere two wins while Gosden has won the previous three renewals with The Fugue, Winsili and Sultanina.
Can anyone arrest the dominant forces this time around?
Legatissimo has been thoroughly consistent this season since winning the 1,000 Guineas in May. David Wachman’s filly has been narrowly denied in both subsequent runs. She would be a rock solid contender if lining up.
At a likely bigger price, the same could be said of Dermot Weld’s filly Carla Bianca. Eye-catching when taking a Group Three at Leopardstown recently, Weld has hinted Pat Smullen could be diverted to Goodwood from Galway to partner her in the Nassau.
Es Que Love won this in record time 12 months ago for trainer Clive Cox and Adam Kirby when bravely holding off the late challenge of Richard Hannon’s odd-on favourite Toormore.
Garswood, Paco Boy and dual winner Nayyir are some of the names to have graced the winner’s enclosure in this 7f Group Two for three-year-olds and up since its inception in 2000.
Trainer Sabrina Harty has committed Ansgar to a return to Goodwood hoping to build on last year’s win in the Group Three Doom Bar Supreme Stakes over the same distance of seven furlongs.
Ansgar is proven at Group Two level having followed up last September at Doncaster over 7f. He has been highly tried over 6f in Group One company this term and could be a lively contender now stepped back up in trip.
Henry Candy’s Limato has been runner-up on his two most recent outings including when chasing home Muhaarar in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
With Charlie Hills’ runner since following up in the July Cup at Newmarket, Limato could be a big player at Goodwood.