Nassau Stakes Betting

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The Nassau Stakes is one of the premier flat races of the Glorious Goodwood meeting, held in late July or early August each year. With an illustrious past dating back to 1840, it was named by the fifth Duke of Richmond, owner of the Goodwood Racecourse, to honour the close friendship that he developed with the royal dynasty of the Netherlands—the House of Orange-Nassau.

During the race’s early history, it was contested over one mile. The distance was increased to 1½ miles in 1900 and eventually settled at the current length—one mile, one furlong, and 192 yards (1,986 metres)—in 1911. Open to Thoroughbred fillies and mares aged three years or older, the Nassau Stakes has been rated as a Group 1 flat horse race since 1999.

A Tradition of Winners

A hot favourite, Rosa Bianca, won the first running of the Nassau Stakes in 1840 and set the pace for many great winners to come. Waldorf Astor, the second Viscount Astor, owned seven of them, including winkipop (1910), First Spear (1914), Pompadour (1921), Concertina (1923), Saucy Sue (1925), Book Law (1927), and Jet Plane (1949).

Repeat winners are highly uncommon in this race. Only three runners have accomplished it, with Roussalka being the first in 1975 and 1976. Ruby Tiger then followed up with wins in 1991 and 1992. But the biggest surprise was the most recent winner, Midday, besting the field in 2009 and 2010.

Two jockeys posted six wins at the Nassau Stakes—Nat Flatman between 1842 and 1859, along with Sir Gordon Richards from 1933 to 1951. Kieren Fallon is the only jockey to have won the Nassau Stakes in three times in a row: on three-year-olds Islington in 2002 and Russian Rhythm in 2003, and on four-year-old Favourable Terms in 2004. Another three-time winner, although not in consecutive years was Walter Swinburn during 1984~1994, while Lester Piggott chalked up five victories here in 1965~1976.

Among trainers who have met with success at the Nassau Stakes are Alec Taylor, Jr. and Sir Michael Stoute, each with seven victories. But the ones to keep any eye on now are Aiden O’Brien, who teamed up with rider Johnny Murtagh for triumphs in 2007 and 2008, and the partnership of trainer Henry Cecil and jockey Tom Queally, who were central to both of Midday’s wins.

Racing at Goodwood

There could hardly be a better spot on the schedule for the Nassau Stakes than its position on the fifth and last day of the Glorious Goodwood Festival. It is currently sponsored by bookmakers Blue Square and carries a purse of £zero,000—two aspect of the race that have raised its profile among punters. Some 100,000 fans flock to the track to be part of the excitement and millions more watch the race broadcast on television.

The Goodwood Racecourse, of course, is situated just five miles north of Chichester, West Sussex, where horse racing has been conducted since 1801. Its one-mile two-furlong “Craven Course,” includes an initial furlong that rises steadily, while the remainder of the run is mostly downhill, making for some exciting finishes.

The running of the Nassau Stakes is preceded by several other major races, such as the Sussex Stakes for the best milers in Europe and the Group 2 Goodwood Cup. There are some 35 betting opportunities in all over the course of the Festival, surrounded by five days of relaxed socialising on the Sussex downs, top quality fashion events, and partying until late into the night.

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