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Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Is Winter the one? All you need to know about the Nassau runners

Winter: star miler steps up in trip at Goodwood
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3.35 Goodwood
Qatar Nassau Stakes | Group 1 | Fillies and Mares | 1m2f | ITV/RUK

Winter, the star filly over a mile this season, steps up in trip for the first time in the Qatar Nassau Stakes as her trainer Aidan O'Brien seeks a fourth win in the Group 1 Goodwood event and jockey Ryan Moore a second.

Successful with Peeping Fawn in 2007, Halfway To Heaven in 2008 and Minding, under Moore, a year ago, O'Brien is also represented by Hydrangea.

Winner of the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish equivalent at the Curragh, Winter completed her Group 1 hat-trick when landing the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Roly Poly, who ran second to her stablemate Winter in the Irish Guineas and again at Royal Ascot, has franked the form by landing the Falmouth Stakes and the Prix Rothschild.

O'Brien said: "You can't be sure Winter will get the trip but she's by Galileo and that is usually a good influence for stamina. She's very well and we've been happy with her since her Ascot win."

Hydrangea, third behind Winter in both the Irish Guineas and Coronation Stakes, will also be tackling the trip for the first time.

"She's well and all has gone well with her since Ascot," said O'Brien.

Seamie Heffernan, who rides Hydrangea, was successful in the race on Halfway To Heaven nine years ago.

Winter pros Triple Group 1 winner who is still open to further improvement 

Winter cons Until she goes and does it, a mile and a quarter is a journey into the unknown

So Mi Dar needs to run says Gosden

John Gosden relies on just So Mi Dar in a bid to win his third Group 1 in five days as the rain has stopped stablemate Shutter Speed joining the party.

Despite her ten-month absence, the omens appear good for So Mi Dar, who carries the same Andrew Lloyd Webber colours as Gosden's 2012 winner The Fugue.

Just like that classy filly, So Mi Dar is coming to the Nassau as a four-year-old, but she is attempting to get her career restarted after two cancellations in May.

Gosden, who is out to win this female feature for a fifth time, said: "There's no doubt about it, So Mi Dar needs to run. Unfortunately, she missed the Middleton at York due to the soft ground and then had a high enzyme count and skipped plan B, which was a Group 3 at Sandown."

The daughter of Dubawi also had an interrupted season last year but made up for missing the Oaks when giving 4lb and a beating to Nezwaah in a Listed contest at Yarmouth in September before looking an unlucky loser in the Prix de l'Opera at Chantilly the following month.

Gosden added: "It's been a long road back with So Mi Dar but she's bursting for a run at home and if the ground is as it was on the opening day she'd go there with a huge chance."

So Mi Dar pros Not many miles on the clock and working very well at home. Likely to travel well into the race and be the last off the bridle. Unlike with some of the opposition, stamina won't be an issue

So Mi Dar cons Ten-month layoff to overcome and three-year-olds have had the upper hand in the race lately

Last year's runner-up out to go one better

Sir Michael Stoute will equal the record held by late Newmarket rival Sir Henry Cecil if last year's second Queen's Trust can give him an eighth success in the ladies' day feature.

Cricket-loving Stoute broke his duck in 1978 with Triple First but has been stuck on seven for a while now as he last found the boundary with Favourable Terms in 2004.

A year ago Queen's Trust was unlucky to run into Minding at the top of her game when hunting up the 1-5 chance, while showing she was effective at this trip of a mile and a quarter, something that stood her in good stead later on when she landed the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita.

In between, the daughter of Dansili was placed over a mile and a half in the Yorkshire Oaks and the fillies' and mares' race on Champions Day at Ascot, but put up her career best when accounting for Lady Eli in the US and has stuck to the shorter trip on both starts this season.

After a comeback fourth under a penalty in a Group 2 at York in May, Cheveley Park Stud's flashy looker upped her game to register a similar placing in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Stoute said: "Queen's Trust is in good shape and as she finished second in it a year ago it made sense to have another crack as a four-year-old. We know she handles the track."

Rain could be one negative for the Freemason Lodge camp as Queen's Trust has shown all her best form on top of the ground.

Stoute added: "She ran on soft when she was fourth in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot last year and didn't run that badly so we're hopeful she could handle easier conditions." 

Pros Proved she can handle the track when second in this a year ago and Stoute's team in great form

Cons Best form on turf has come on quicker ground

Nezwaah lands the Pretty Polly Stakes but rain threatens her chance at Goodwood

The rest of the field . . . 

While soft ground has ruled out Wuheida, trainer Charlie Appleby reckons stablemate Sobetsu will love it.

He said: "We're coming back in trip with Sobestu and she won the Prix Saint-Alary on soft ground, so conditions could come into her favour.

"If she gets her ground and can repeat her performance at Deauville, then she won’t look out of place in this line-up."

Soft ground would be a concern for the Andrew Balding-trained Blond Me, for before her success in York's Middleton Stakes she had run two of her worst races on it and looked every inch a top-of-the-ground filly.

You can't be sure she'll get the trip but she's by Galileo and that is usually a good influence for stamina
E.W. Terms
Sky bet