Winter Clashes with Older Horses in Group One Nassau
by Craig Jones
Winter has been fantastic this season, winning three Group One races in a row, and had it not been for Enable’s star performances, Winter would be the filly of the year in the UK. Despite what Enable has achieved, Winter still deserves a huge amount of credit for her record and today at Glorious Goodwood she will take on older horses in an attempt to prove she is up there with the best of them.
Despite being known as Glorious Goodowod, we have had a lot of rain over the past few days, causing many non-runners and the ground is now described at heavy, soft in places by the course. With three more days of racing on that ground, it is going to be a tough test for the horses that do run. Hopefully we have no further withdrawals from the Nassau Stakes and we can see Winter take on the older fillies later today.
After winning the English Guineas, Irish Guineas and Coronation Stakes, Winter steps up in both distance and age group today. She has a further two furlongs to travel, but that looks likely to suit and if anything it may bring out further improvement from her. Then she has the problem of facing older horses, although the field against her today is not the cream of the crop.
Her main rival is So Mi Dar, a four year old filly who hasn’t ran since October last year. She is a filly with huge potential, but may not be quite ready for this, with bigger targets planned later in the season. Queen’s Trust is the other main rival, a horse who won at the Breeders Cup last year and who came a good fourth behind the boys at Royal Ascot. Back in against the fillies she would also have a chance to beat Winter, if she handles the ground ok.
The Nassau is going to be a fascinating match up and hopefully we have no more non-runners to dampen the quality of the race. With an 8lb allowance for her age, if Winter handles the soft conditions then she will be very tough to beat in this one.
Elsewhere on the card we have a Group Two race for two year olds in which Cardsharp is looking to follow up from his previous Group Two success at Newmarket. He looks a typical Mark Johnston tough and genuine type who will be able to battle hard in these conditions. The final race to mentions is the Lillie Langtry, a Group Three race and in this one I am very intrigued by Melodic Motion who has won her last three starts. She has looked a very progressive type and if she wins here today, showing she is still improving and can handle the stamina test on offer, she will probably have booked her place at the Group One St Leger next month. She tackles older horses here but could be the class act in this field if handling the ground conditions.
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