Newmarket handler John Gosden is enjoying a wonderful season and could launch a two-pronged assault on the Group One Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes on Saturday, August 4, at Glorious Goodwood with Izzi Top and The Fugue.
Izzi Top, unbeaten in three starts this season, bagged her first Group 1 victory in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on July 1, while The Fugue finished second in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
Gosden said: “Izzi Top and The Fugue will be looking at the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes, but they both have different ground requirements as Izzi Top likes a bit of juice, while The Fugue prefers it on top and she hasn’t had that since being knocked over at Epsom.
“The ground was a bit slow for The Fugue at Royal Ascot, but she ran well.
“Izzi Top has got better and better this year. She is very talented and has always been very good looking. She was third in the Oaks last year but doesn’t stay a mile and a half and she also chipped a hind joint that day which meant we had to give her time off.
“She won a Group 3 at Saint-Cloud last backend on her only other start of 2011 and she has come out this season to be undefeated, winning the Dahlia, Middleton and Pretty Polly Stakes. She looks the obvious type for the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes, Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville and then the Prix de l’Opera.
“The Fugue only ran once as a juvenile like Dar Re Mi in the same race and won it. She then ran very well on soft ground in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas to be fourth, where she was also struck into, before coming out and winning the Musidora Stakes well.
“Then there were the antics in the Oaks, which the less talked about the better, but she is a nice progressive filly and if the ground is good to firm you will see her in the Nassau.”
Nehaam, who finished fourth in last season’s QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup, is a likely runner in the Group 2 Artemis Goodwood Cup.
Gosden added: “Nehaam will run in the Group 2 Artemis Goodwood Cup. He ran well in the QIPCO race at Ascot last year, but Richard Hills was trying to work whether he slapped him over two miles five times, six times or seven times as he put his stick down and it cost him a place. I think two miles is his trip and he is in good form.”
Gatewood, who completed a hat-trick for the season when winning the 10-furlong Listed Wolferton Handicap by a neck at Royal Ascot, will step up in class and trip in the Group 3 Coutts Glorious Stakes over 12 furlongs on Friday, August 3.
Gosden commented: “We are looking at the Coutts Glorious Stakes with Gatewood. I am delighted with him and some Australians have purchased half of him. They are really nice guys with a famous cricketer among them and we will be trying to get him eligible for the Melbourne Cup.”
Ghurair, a son of Elusive Quality owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, was an impressive winner of an 18-runner Newmarket maiden on his debut last week and he is being aimed at the Group 2 Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes run over seven furlongs on Wednesday, August 1.
Gosden said: “I’d like Ghurair to go for the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes. I would be very keen on his chances and his future. He is by Elusive Quality so he would like better ground than it was on his debut.”
In the Group 3 Ishares Fillies’ Stakes, run over a mile and three quarters on Thursday, August 2, Gosden is looking to run Listed Fred Archer Stakes victor Polygon, while Trade Commissioner will take part in the Betfred Mile on Friday, August 3.
Gosden commented: “We are going to run Polygon in the Ishares Fillies’ Stakes. She won the Fred Archer Stakes the other day and then there is a little horse called Trade Commissioner, who will have a go at the Betfred Mile. It will be his last run in a handicap as the handicapper will have him by then.
“He is a Montjeu so I was thinking that you had to go a mile and a quarter, but I did start him over seven furlongs on the all-weather as I wasn’t completely convinced. I stepped him up to a mile and a quarter when he won his maiden, but then Ryan Moore, who is a very good judge, said we should bring him back in trip after he was beaten.”
Gosden reckons Frankel is the best miler he has ever seen and is not going to run anything against the Sir Henry Cecil-trained star in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes because of that.