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Nassau Stakes: Legatissimo to gain deserved second Group 1
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Nassau Stakes: Legatissimo to gain deserved second Group 1

Ben Fearnley previews the Group 1 Nassau Stakes, which is set to take place on the final day of Glorious Goodwood on Saturday.

When we look back at recent renewals of the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, two names standout; Midday and John Gosden, who between them have won the last six renewals of the race. Midday’s consistency at the top level was a credit to her trainer, Sir Henry Cecil, and arguably we have not seen a middle-distance filly bringing her level of form into the Nassau since she beat the likes of Snow Fairy and Crystal Capella in the 2011 renewal.

Coming into this year’s race, comparisons can certainly be drawn between a three-year-old Midday in 2009 and this year’s ante-post favourite Legatissimo, namely that both fillies finished second in fairly messy renewals of the Epsom Oaks.

In fact, had a few more things gone her way following her 1000 Guineas victory, we could easily be talking about Legatissimo as a triple Group 1-winning filly coming into this race, having been outstayed in the aforementioned Oaks after meeting trouble, and conceding first run to Diamondsandrubies in the Pretty Polly. The feeling at Timeform is that although Diamondsandrubies still remains open to improvement after winning the Pretty Polly, she was given a very good front-running ride that day, and is far from certain to confirm the form with Legatissimo, who ultimately looked an unlucky loser at the Curragh. The overall form of the race looks strong, with plenty of proven Group-standard fillies in behind the front pair, and both Legatissimo and Diamondsandrubies are likely to run well again here, with slight preference being for David Wachman’s Guineas heroine.

It would be folly to dismiss any of John Gosden’s entrants in the Nassau either, based on recent trends, and his best chance this year looks to be with Prix de Diane winner Star of Seville, who is the mount of Frankie Dettori. Star of Seville went well for a long way in the Epsom Oaks, and she shaped much better than the result on paper, having caught some of the worst of the trouble in the home straight she was heavily eased immediately after. She did seem to be fading at the time, however, and she confirmed that 10 furlongs is more of her trip when winning the French equivalent of the Oaks at Chantilly just 9 days after. Although Star of Seville is highly respected here at her optimum trip, on known form Legatissimo should have her measure.

Lady of Dubai is another re-opposing Epsom Oaks filly who is certainly worthy of a mention, after finishing a very credible third behind Qualify and Legatissimo on just her second three-year-old start. Although Lady of Dubai avoided the trouble which had an impact on many of the field that day, she is highly progressive, and already has winning form over C&D, being an impressive winner of the Height of Fashion Stakes in her prep race for the Oaks. Andrea Atzeni and Luca Cumani have a good chance of tasting back-to-back Saturday Group 1 success here, following on from Postponed’s King George VI victory last week, but, like Star of Seville, further improvement is required to turn the tables on an in-form Legatissimo.

Arabian Queen, Cladocera and Wedding Vow also bring Group-winning form from this season into the Nassau, but, all things considered, it is the 1000 Guineas winner Legatissimo who is the selection to gain a deserved second success at the highest level.


Back Legatissimo in the Nassau Stakes

Free Race Pass of the Day
Thursday 30th July


silk Jamie Spencer
Michael Bell



silk George Baker
Roger Charlton

11. SIMENON (IRE) 124


silk Frankie Dettori
W. P. Mullins, Ireland