Which horse completed a hat-trick in the Nassau Stakes in 2009, 2010 and 2011?
Established in 1840, the Nassau Stakes was named by Charles Gordon Lennox, Fifth Duke of Richmond, to reflect his close ties with the House of Orange-Nassau, which survives today as the Royal House of the Netherlands. Elevated to Group 1 status in 1999, the race is run over 1 mile, 1 furlong and 197 yards at Goodwood and is open to fillies and mares aged three years and upwards. It is currently scheduled as the feature race on day three of the five-day Qatar Goodwood Festival, staged annually in late July or early August.
The Nassau Stakes has a rich history and its roll of honour includes such luminaries as Spectre, Pretty Polly, Ouija Board and Minding, to name but a few. The late Sir Henry Cecil remains the most successful trainer in the history of the Nassau Stakes with a total of eight wins. Cecil saddled Roussalka to back-to-back victories in 1975 and 1976 but, following Connaught Bridge, in 1979, Nom De Plume, in 1987, and Lyphard’s Delta, in 1993, it was Midday who provided the Master of Warren Place with a record-breaking hat-trick in the Nassau Stakes in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Bred and owned by the late Khalid Abdullah, Midday was a very easy, 6-length winner of the Lingfield Oaks Trial on her second start as a three-year-old, but was beaten a head by Sariska in the Oaks at Epsom and 7½ lengths by the same horse in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh the following month. However, the daughter of Oasis Dream resumed winning ways in the Nassau Stakes, staying on well to draw clear in the closing stages and beat the favourite, Rainbow View, trained by John Gosden by 2¼ lengths.
Following a successful trip to Santa Anita Park, California, where she justified favouritism in the Breeders’ Cup Fillies & Mares, Midday was back at Goodwood, as a four-year-old, in July, 2010. Again, she justified favouritism in the Nassau Stakes, despite idling and hanging left in the closing stages, and repeated the dose in 2011, with a ready, 2-length win from Snow Fairy.