Venus De Milo a worthy favourite in the Nassau Stakes
This year’s renewal of the Group 1 Nassau Stakes (3:15 Goodwood) looks really, really mediocre and it’s a pity that Thistle Bird misses out as she would have made it a lot more interesting. In her absence, this looks like an excellent chance for Venus De Milo to get a first top-level success at the fifth attempt and I’ve seen significantly worse 5/2 shots in recent times.
Aidan O’Brien’s 4-year-old daughter of Duke Of Marmalade has three seconds in Group 1’s to her name, with her only disappointment at this level coming in last year’s Arc (needs it fast), and that helps to show how talented she is. Her seconds have come to Chicquita, The Fugue and ante-post favourite for this, Thistle Bird, and there’s nothing as classy as those lining up on this occasion.
Last time out, over this trip at the Curragh, Venus finished behind Thistle Bird in the Pretty Polly, travelling really well before succumbing to the winner’s superior speed late on. It was more like it from her, however, as she hadn’t looked fantastic in winning a Cork Group 3 the time before.
Questions marks can be had over her connections decision to stick to this sort of trip (1m 4f is her optimum), especially around a sharp track like Goodwood, but you have to head where the races are and they won’t find many better opportunities that this to get a Group 1 success to her name. Second-favourite Narniyn is the obvious danger and an unknown quantity coming over from France, but she has to prove that this ground will suit and so far has looked best when her toe is sinking into the floor.
Mango Diva could have more to offer and is a solid type, but her form will have to be improved upon and a stiffer track would be ideal as well. Similar comments apply to Sultanina back at this trip, so despite the selection having a tiny bit to prove, she’s in good company. I think she’s the best horse in this race by a few lengths, under these quick conditions at least, and wouldn’t be overly surprised if 5/2 turned into a much shorter price before the off. She’s the one to beat by some way, further than the market is suggesting at the moment.
Selection for the Nassau Stakes (3:15 Goodwood, Saturday):
Venus De Milo – generally available at 5/2.
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