1 Winsili 20/1
2 Thistle Bird 33/1
3 Hot Snap 5/1 NR: Secret Gesture
14 ran Distances: nk, 2l, ½l
TIME 2m 6.19s (slow by 2.19s)
Winsili, a 20/1 chance, gave trainer John Gosden a third success in the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes following the victories of The Fugue in 2012 and Ryafan in 1997. It was a first success in the Group One contest for jockey William Buick.
Buick said: “Obviously, she didn’t stay a mile and a half in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot. She’s not easy and the whole team at home have done a great job because she is a bit lively in the mornings.
“She was great today. I got a nice run through and she is very game. It has been an up and down week, so it’s great to finish on a high.
“My game plan was to follow Hughsie and I was hoping that he wasn’t going to get to far back, which he didn’t. Then I had plenty of room in the straight to manoeuvre. She travelled so good that I decided to take my time because I know that she has a turn of foot. She fought off all challengers up to the line.
“I am a great believer in the hood. It helps her a lot – it makes her focus and she can’t hear anything else.”
John Gosden said: “I thought that Sky Lantern, like everyone else, was the filly to beat. She is a fabulous filly and obviously the Falmouth is something that never sits easy with me either. She is a gorgeous filly who didn’t quite get the rub of the green today.
“We were drawn outside, which has dreadful disadvantages but it does mean that you don’t get boxed it. It might mean that you have to go the long way round but you tend to get a clear run and I think that was a big help to us today.
“She can’t stand still. You meet people who are like roadrunner, they have a bottle of water, they are always walking and they are usually jogging or something. She can’t stand still, so if you are having a conversation with her, she walks round you.
“I have to saddle her on the move because she cannot stand. When she goes for a canter in the mornings, she must be with one other and as that one approaches her, she then trots past and is free. But, if she has to wait, she will nearly throw herself on the ground with sheer frustration that she can’t get on and do what she wants to. She is quite strong-minded.
“Prince Khalid bred Midday, who won three years on the bounce and he has now won four of the last five Nassau Stakes. That’s some achievement.”
Richard Hughes, partner of the 7/4 favourite Sky Lantern, who finished fifth, said: “I had a good run through the whole way. I was behind the Godolphin runner at the two-pole and I edged out to go round her. Mr Buick’s horse rolled down on top of me and just pushed me back in on the heels.
“I think that my filly was the best in the race. I was coming out to win and she must have remembered the belt in the face! There was nothing that I could have done. That’s racing but it was very unlucky.
“I had an argy-bargy match at the top of the hill with Hot Snap as well – I managed to get out of that but her tongue was hanging out to one side and I wasn’t totally happy. I had filled her up down to the two-pole and I was happy.
“I had the daylight to go – there was no such thing as looking for a gap because I had one – and Winsili has rolled down and pushed me back in behind.”
Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes
(British Champions Series) (Fillies' Group 1) £200,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 1f 192y, Class 1 14 ran
James Doyle, the rider of neck second Thistle Bird, was thrilled with the five-year-old Selkirk mare who is trained by Roger Charlton for Lady Rothschild.
He said: “I was really delighted with her. She is tough, settled well and finished good. She gets that trip on a sharp track.”
Lady Cecil was happy with the third, three-year-old Hot Snap, who finished well to be two lengths behind the runner up.
She said of the Pivotal filly: “I am delighted with her – she was doing well at the end.”
Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager for Khalid Abdullah, Hot Snap’s owner, added: “I was very pleased with the way she came back – she didn’t really come down the hill terribly well and was a little bit slow beginning but ran on really nicely and she is obviously back on track.
“Hopefully, the curve will be upward rather than downward from now on. I would think a mile and a quarter will be right for her on nice Flat galloping track.
“We will look at the mile and a quarter races, the Prix de l’Opera and Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.”
His owner also had the winner Winsili and the racing manager declared: “Absolutely chuffed. We always had a very good opinion of her – we supplemented her for the Fillies’ Mile – and she came out and won a Listed race nicely over a mile and a quarter at Newbury and then did not stay in the Ribblesdale. So we brought her back in trip.”
Saeed bin Suroor was pleased with the fourth Sajjhaa who will now be brought back in trip. He said: “It was for her first run since Hong Kong and she probably needed the race but I don’t think she stayed a mile and a quarter. We will drop her back to a mile for the Sun Chariot at Newmarket and there is a mile race in America we are looking at in October.”