Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes
|Group 1, Goodwood
Fillies & Mares, 3yo plus,
1m 1f 192y, Class 1
|Saturday 2nd August 2014|
1 Sultanina 11/2
2 Narniyn 7/4F
3 Venus de Milo 5/2
NR: Amazing Maria (IRE)
6 ran Distances: 1½l, 3l, ½l
TIME 2m 6.58s (slow by 2.58s)
Sultanina gives John Gosden a third straight Nassau Stakes as William Buick collars the French raider Narniyn at Goodwood
Third successive Nassau Stakes for John Gosden after The Fugue and Winsili
Winning rider William Buick: "Sultanina has always been held in high regard. I ride for a great stable and I'm very privileged."
Buick is now the outright leader in the Racing UK Top Jockey Award after his fourth winner of the meeting.
Sultanina gave trainer John Gosden and jockey William Buick a third successive success in the race, the pair having taken the Group One contest last year with Winsili and in 2012 with The Fugue. It was a fourth Nassau Stakes victory in all for the trainer, as he also sent out Ryafan to success in 1997.
The Fugue had been favourite until injury ruled her out last month. "It is nice to find a supersub," said Gosden of Sultanina, "who can come off the bench like Messi."
The four-year-old filly is owned and bred by Philippa Cooper at her Normandie Stud, some 11 miles from Goodwood. A late developer, the four-year-old daughter of New Approach did not race until this year, winning a Salisbury maiden on debut in May. She has now won three out of four.
"The owner-breeder said to me after she won at Salisbury that she was the best filly she had ever bred," said Gosden. "I did wonder a bit at the time, but she's been proved right. Sultanina might be unbeaten but she was a little free when she was second last time at Haydock [in the Group Two Lancashire Oaks]. Her stamina kicked in today in the final furlong and she has beaten a tough nut of a filly [Narniyn] who brought good solid form to the table."
Gosden has now won three Group Ones in a row within a week, after last Saturday's Taghrooda's King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Kingman's QIPCO Sussex Stakes on Wednesday on the second day of Glorious Goodwood. "It's the sort of thing you don't forget when you're an old guy in your rocking chair," he said.
Sultanina is not likely to race on next year, and will probably appear next in another Group One contest, the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot on October 18. "I'd like to give her a break and bring a fresh filly to the autumn," said Gosden.
The winning rider William Buick commented: "I am absolutely delighted. I am over the moon for everybody - for the owner/breeder, John and the whole team back home at Clarehaven. It's fantastic. We have had a good week and this filly has really stepped up to the plate.
"That was only the fourth run of her life, so it was a good training performance. She did it very well out there. We have always held her in high regard - no one as high as Mrs Cooper the owner, who said after she won her maiden that she could be one of the best fillies that she had ever had. She's clearly right. It was a nice race to go for and we are all absolutely delighted.
"We looked at the race beforehand and it was only really Venus De Milo who could have gone to the lead. Mrs Cooper felt that it wouldn't be right to take her on for the lead too early. She suggested that we creep into and that's what we did. It was very straightforward.
"To come to these big meetings and ride winners is fantastic but I ride for a great stable. I am very privileged and we have some great horses and great owners, so thank you to them."
The four-year-old looked set to give France a first triumph in the near 10-furlong contest, having squeezed up the rail to lead with two furlongs to run. However, she wandered under pressure inside the final furlong and was caught by the strong finishing Sultanina. The winning margin was a length and a half with three lengths back to the front-running Venus De Milo.
Alain de Royer-Dupre said: "I think the track is too firm for Narniyn. She changed her legs many times and didn't really handle the downhill. She did well to finish second but her balance was not correct.
"Her next start will be in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in three weeks' time."
Narniyn was ridden by Christophe Soumillon, who added: "I wanted a run on the outside but the pace was not very strong. I was in a hole and I just let her go there.
"She changed legs and was very unbalanced, which I think has cost us the race. I think the winner won easily but Narniyn ran well."
Of Venus De Milo, her trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "Venus De Milo ran well and would prefer going further.
"She was a little bit all at sea on the track - you could see she was stumbling a bit.
"She needs to be racing and I would say she will go for the Yorkshire Oaks next. The track there will suit her better."
Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes (British Champions Series)
£200,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 1f 192y, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm