This year sees the Qatar Nassau Stakes move from its previous Saturday slot, the fifth and final day of Qatar Goodwood Festival, to become the highlight of Ladies’ Day, Thursday, August 3.
Ireland’s champion Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien bagged his third Qatar Nassau Stakes in 2016 with the outstanding Minding and Winter heads the Ballydoyle handler’s nine entries this time around, having already bagged an impressive Group 1 treble in 2017 with victories in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last week.
Also among the O’Brien-trained contingent are last year’s Group 1 Matron Stakes heroine Alice Springs, QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Investec Oaks runner-up Rhododendron, plus the 2016 Group 1 Irish Oaks and Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks scorer Seventh Heaven.
Runner-up to Minding in 2016 was Queen’s Trust (Sir Michael Stoute). The daughter of Dansili, now a four-year-old, ended last year in great style when taking the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita, USA, in November.
Chris Richardson, Managing Director of Queen’s Trust’s owners Cheveley Park Stud, said: “We would very much hope that Queen’s Trust can go for the Qatar Nassau Stakes again this year. I haven’t spoken to Sir Michael since her run at Royal Ascot last week but we have put her in and the race is very much an option for her"
Sir Michael Stoute has three entries in total as the Newmarket trainer seeks a record-equalling eighth success in the Qatar Nassau Stakes. In addition to Queen’s Trust, his entries are multiple Listed winner Abingdon and Smart Call, a three-time Group 1 winner in South Africa.
Another trainer with an excellent record in the Qatar Nassau Stakes is John Gosden, who has won the prestigious contest four times, including three consecutive successes between 2012 and 2014.
The Newmarket handler has made three entries in 2017 – Journey, winner of the Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies’ & Mares’ Stakes, Group 1 Prix de Diane fourth Shutter Speed and So Mi Dar, winner of four of her five starts but not seen out since finishing a close third in the G1 Prix de l'Opera in October.
Three entries are owned by Godolphin, including Wuheida (Charlie Appleby), winner of her two starts to date but not seen out since landing the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly in October.
Sobetsu (Charlie Appleby) is also a Group 1 winner, having captured the Prix Saint-Alary at Deauville in May before disappointing in the Investec Oaks.
The Qatar Nassau Stakes is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.